Florida Polytechnic University

Florida Polytechnic University, Lakeland - United States, Calatrava Santiago
Construction year: 2014
Address: 4700 Research Way | LAKELAND-FLORIDA | United States | Visit Website
Latitude/Longitude: 28.15071, -81.85128

In 2009, Santiago Calatrava was selected to create the master plan for the new Florida Polytechnic University campus, and to design the first building to be constructed on the new campus. The university campus, through its formal arrangement and iconographic imagery, defines an institution that endeavors to give physical representation to man’s highest aspirations.

During the initial stages of master planning, the following principles were established:

– Reflect the important role that the landscape, vegetation and water play in central Florida;
– Create a strong formal order at a scale addressing the campus as a whole;
– Create an iconic structure marking the campus within the larger local and regional context;
– Recognize and conserve the natural landscape, open space and vegetation areas;
– Locate vehicular traffic at the perimeter of the campus;
– Create a variety of building types and public spaces;
– Create a “pedestrian-friendly” campus environment.

The Master Plan of Florida Polytechnic University, in response to the principles listed above, consists of a central lake, located on a northwest-southeast axis through the site. The lake affords dramatic views from within the campus and into the campus from offsite locations. The lake offers not only an opportunity for architectural expression, but it is also the primary storm water retention, as well as storage vessel for site irrigation. This ecologically sensitive response to the environment is a valuable polytechnic educational tool. The Innovation, Science and Technology Building, rising above the natural canopy of live oak trees, is located at the northwest head of the central lake.

The building will be an iconic symbol of the university; visible from Interstate 4 and Polk Parkway, as well as from the campus entry, which is located south of the central lake. To the greatest possible extent, the campus plan proposes to conserve the existing topography and tree canopies. An elliptical vehicular ring road, lined by tall palms, segregates vehicular traffic from the core of the campus and allows conservation of the existing vegetative buffer between it and Interstate 4 and Polk Parkway. Parking facilities are located along the ring road, and only emergency vehicles are permitted within the central campus core. Inside the ring road, pedestrian walkways and paths, lined by smaller trees, are oriented parallel to and perpendicular to the central campus axis to form a circulation grid. Administrative, academic, residential, and other support facilities are placed within this grid around the central lake and complete the campus core. All classrooms, offices and dorm rooms are within a 10 minute walk of each other.

Text © Calatrava Santiago

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