Santiago Calatrava completes Florida Polytechnic University

News: Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava has completed a building with a cage-like exterior for the newly established Florida Polytechnic University in Lakeland.

Florida Polytechnic University by Santiago Calatrava

Santiago Calatrava – whose best-known projects include the Liège-Guillemins Station in Belgium – designed a 68-hectare campus for the new university, which will welcome its first batch of students later this month.

Specialising in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, the campus centres around the Innovation, Science and Technology Building, located on the north side of a lake.

Florida Polytechnic University by Santiago Calatrava

This 18,500-square-metre structure is wrapped by a lightweight aluminium "trellis" made up of a series of curving columns and surfaces, designed to reduce the building's solar gain by around 30 per cent.

Inside the facility, Calatrava has added a large first-floor meeting area known as "the Commons", which sits directly beneath a vaulted skylight.

Florida Polytechnic University by Santiago Calatrava

A louvred canopy overhead, made up of 46 panels, can be operated by hydraulics to adapt to the position of the sun, helping to shade the space from harsh direct light.

Florida Polytechnic University by Santiago Calatrava

Classrooms, laboratories, offices and meeting spaces can all be found on the ground floor of the building, alongside an amphitheatre for hosting events. Additional offices are located upstairs, arranged around the Commons.

Florida Polytechnic University by Santiago Calatrava

A series of pedestrian walkways connects the building with the rest of the campus, while a road surrounding the lake is screened by trees.

Florida Polytechnic University by Santiago Calatrava

The Florida Polytechnic University will be formally opened this weekend with a ceremony at the campus.


Project credits

Architect: Santiago Calatrava
Structural Engineer: Thornton Tomasetti
MEP Engineer: TLC
Civil Engineer: Anderson Lane, Inc
Architect of Record: Alfonso Architects
Lab Consultant: RS&H
CM/GC: Skanska USA