Construction has begun on the University of South Florida Polytechnic’s Santiago Calatrava-designed campus in Lakeland, Fla.
Calatrava’s first building, the Innovation, Science & Technology building, will set the architectural tone for all other structures within the campus’ master plan, the architect said in announcing the groundbreaking.
Santiago Calatrava/University of Florida Polytechnic
“As a graduate of a polytechnic university, it is a privilege to be able to contribute to the pursuit of education within the fields of science and technology,” Calatrava said. “It is my hope that this first building for Florida Polytechnic’s new campus will be enjoyed for generations to come, while also acting as a catalyst for continued architectural and technological advancement.”
Until the other structures within the master plan are built, the building will also need to function as the campus itself, with the capability to accommodate various events and functions, Calatrava said.
In addition to the classrooms, laboratories, administration offices, and common spaces, the two-story structure will also house a large amphitheater that can be used for hosting exhibitions, lectures and graduation ceremonies.
Calatrava’s design also incorporates an outdoor garden terrace, shaded by a continuous pergola that serves as surrogate campus grounds and provides an outdoor learning, gathering and seating area.
Calatrava was first commissioned to design the cornerstone for the new campus after the university determined that its existing space was incapable of accommodate a growing student population. (See Santiago Calatrava to Design Cornerstone for USF Polytechnic’s New Campus.)
Located at the northernmost corner of the campus, the 100,000-square-foot building is positioned to serve as an “iconic focal point for the University as well as a beacon for further development throughout the region,” the architect said.
The architect added that the structure is expected to help increase the profile of Florida’s High Tech Corridor as an incubator and economic engine for the state.
Calatrava is perhaps best known for his celebrated designs of bridges, transportation centers and cultural institutions throughout the world. Durability + Design recently announced the opening of Calatrava’s pedestrian bridge in Calgary, Alberta; see: Serenity Prevails as Calatrava’s ‘Peace Bridge’ Opens in Calgary.
The USF Polytechnic facility is reported to be the architect’s first design in the southeastern U.S.
Lakeland, often referred to as a “sleepy orange-grove town,” is no stranger to internationally recognized architecture. Frank Lloyd Wright designed the Annie Pfeiffer Chapel and 11 other structures on the Florida Southern College’s campus in the town.
More information: www.calatrava.com.