Located in Sarasota & Naples, Florida

Architecture License: AR 94536

Architecture Firm License: AA0003661


Save Our Seabirds

Lido Key, FL


Save our Seabirds is a not-for-profit bird sanctuary that rescues, rehabilitates, and releases over 4,000 birds each year while educating the community about the importance of birds to the environment. Looking to increase their presence at their current location on City Island while providing necessary restrooms and exhibit space, the organization approached our firm to design a new visitor center. The proposed design is a glass circle wrapped in aluminum panels that display imagery of seabirds using a custom pattern of circular perforations. An undulating fabric canopy ushers visitors from nearby attractions such as the Sarasota Sailing Squadron, Mote Marine, and the Ken Thompson Boat Ramp. The bold and unique design creates a new face for the organization that has become one of the largest wildlife rescues in the state of Florida.

The design aims to provide a simple yet elegant solution for a building that welcomes visitors to the property, while also providing accessible restrooms and retail displays. Within the circular glass enclosure, a central core provides a private space for the restrooms as well as a space for glass retail shelves at either end. Hidden above the restrooms within the core is the air handler unit and hot water heater. Ten-foot tall glass storefront around the perimeter provides a transparent barrier between interior and exterior spaces which allows visitors to see in and know where to go for tickets. The entry canopy evokes the sleek and aerodynamic form of a bird’s outstretch wings, while the circular façade mimics the welcoming shape of a bird’s nest. The perforated façade panels cast a dynamic and ever-changing shadow on the building, protecting it from the harsh Florida sun and acting as a beacon to visitors of City Island. A plaza at the property’s point provides a space for seating and public art.

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