LAKELAND, Fla. – Florida Polytechnic University’s iconic Innovation, Science and Technology (IST) Building in Lakeland now ranks as one of the 16 “most breathtaking” buildings in the world, according to a survey of architects, placing it alongside iconic structures such as the Parthenon in Greece, the Empire State Building and Frank Lloyd Wright’s “Fallingwater” residence.
Business Insider’s “Tech Insider” magazine surveyed 16 prominent architects, asking each to pick just one structure they fondly think of as “breathtaking.” Architect Marica McKeel of Studio MM worked on the IST Building design and said, “Not only do I love the design of the Innovation, Science and Technology Building, but I feel a real connection to this project and to the Lakeland community as my father grew up in Lakeland and I still frequently visit family there.”
Designed by internationally-renowned architect Dr. Santiago Calatrava, the IST Building is the cornerstone of Florida Poly’s campus and the University’s main classroom and laboratory building. The 162,000-square-foot, white-domed building is a moveable and functional work of art, with a louvered roof system that adjusts with the sun’s angle, surrounded by a ring of curved metal pergolas that shade its outer terrace and walkways.
Calatrava repeatedly breaks new ground in architecture, with soaring designs for a new transit station at the rebuilt World Trade Center, a spiraling “Turning Torso” skyscraper in Sweden and the Peace Bridge in Calgary. Among the numerous awards associated with the IST Building is the distinguished Engineering News Record’s (ENR) Global Project of the Year award.
“The IST Building was created to provide an inspiring, modern atmosphere for learning, collaboration and innovation,” said Florida Poly President Dr. Randy K. Avent. “It’s invigorating to walk into this building each day and work alongside faculty, students and staff in one of the world’s most advanced structures.”
The IST Building houses 26 classrooms, the Aula Magna auditorium, faculty and administrative offices, an 11,000-square-foot Commons area and 11 innovation labs – including a 3D printing lab, cyber security lab and heath informatics lab – where students are able to get hands-on experience with the latest technology. Skanska USA was the lead contractor.
Other top accolades earned by the IST Building include:
- 2014 Engineering News Record Global Best Project by Engineering News Record
- Best Projects: 2014 Project of the Year – Southeast Region, Best Higher Education/Research by Engineering News Record
- 2014 Metal Construction News Design Award in Metal Building Systems
- 2014 Best Innovative Structural Steel Project of the Year by the American Institute of Steel Construction
- 2015 Innovative Design in Engineering and Architecture with Structural Steel (IDEAS2) Award
- 2015 International Architecture Award by The Chicago Athenaeum: Museum of Architecture and Design and The European Centre for Architecture
Assistant Director of Communications