The construction of the new campus of the South Florida Polytechnic University began in late March this year in Lakeland, Fla. The new campus is designed by the world renowned architect and university alumnus Santiago Calatrava who is well known for his exquisite designs of transportation centers, bridges and cultural institutions. The designer was commissioned to plan the new campus as the university officials realized that the existing space could no longer support the burgeoning student population.
According to the master plan, the luxuriant oval shaped campus is carved by a long body of water that splits it into two halves. An artistic brise soleil erected at the northernmost point of the campus amidst the waters is the highlight of the campus. Further, a series of pedestrian bridges linking the either halves of the campus divided by the water body are set in tune with Calatrava’s inclination towards bridges.
The foundation stone of the campus stands to be its first structure, the Innovation, Science, and Technology building that shall serve as the sole campus until the entire plan is constructed. This 100,000 square-foot white building is well equipped with daylighting feature and natural ventilation. Besides, the two-storey structure shall incorporate various classrooms, laboratories, community spaces and administration offices as well as a large amphitheatre that can cater to host various lectures, exhibitions and graduation ceremonies of the university. In addition to this, Calatrava has also designed an outdoor garden terrace with a continuous shade of pergola to function as a campus ground and allow a comfortable area for seating, gathering and outdoor learning.
The Florida Polytechnic University campus is another addition to the internationally recognized architecture of Lakeland, which boasts of beautiful structures like the Annie Pfeiffer Chapel among others designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. Calatrava believes that the new campus shall serve as an important medium in carrying forward the architectural legacy of the town. Besides, it shall play a crucial role in promoting and nourishing the High-tech Corridor profile of Southern Florida.
Source: World Architecture News