Lakeland is home to Florida Southern College, the world’s largest single-site collection of Frank Lloyd Wright architecture; however, now it has also become the home to Florida Polytechnic University, which was designed by yet another renowned architect: Santiago Calatrava.
The Spanish neofuturistic architect and structural engineer has built his reputation by reshaping the look of cities around the world with his unique architectural style and engineering expertise. Calatrava has designed more than 50 bridges, including the Pont De L’Europe and Alamillo Bridge. His designs are known for the utilization of white concrete and steel. Calatrava’s most recent project includes the new World Trade Center transit hub in New York City.
Calatrava's design process reflects his inherent aesthetic sagacity and eclectic education. He began as an art student, then went on to earn a degree in architecture, from Escuela Technica Superior de Arquitectura de Valencia, and subsequently a doctorate of Technical Science from the Eidgenosische Technische Hochschule (ETH) in Zurich. Calatrava's impressive educational knowledge in engineering and architecture, as well as his aesthetic sense, have been the fundamental factors that have set him apart in the world of contemporary architecture. Like Calatrava, Florida Polytechnic University’s vision is, “to be different so that graduates possess the talent and job-ready skills to stand out from the crowd.”
Florida Polytechnic was founded in April 20, 2012, as an innovative university devoted to the principle that innovation is developed when research and creativity are applied to real-world challenges. The Innovation, Science and Technology building at Florida Polytechnic University was designed by Calatrava and resides on a 170-acre campus, which has 26 classrooms and 11 innovation labs including a robotics lab, Supercomputer, cyber-security lab, and Rapid Application and Development (RAD) Makerspace with more than fifty 3D printers and scanners. In addition to the IST Building, the campus includes a state-of-the-art freshman residence hall, wellness center, admissions center, and campus control center.
Though the physical structure of the campus is futuristic, so is Florida Polytechnic University's library. There are zero hard copies in the university's library collection; all required texts are in digital format to support all degree programs. This means students and faculty can access the library and its holdings from any Internet-accessible computer or tablet. Additionally, students have borrowing privileges at all State University systems and State College libraries.
Florida Polytechnic University envisions being a world-renowned “University of Innovation” that produces a “dynamic pool of info-tech talent with real-world solutions and the capacity to lead global high-tech industries through customized undergraduate and graduate STEM-enriched academic curriculum, operating space and facilities, entrepreneurial research and interactive business industry partnerships.”
If you're a student interested in STEM programs, why not check out Florida Polytechnic? Schedule a tour of the campus today to be one step closer toward embarking on an innovative scholastic adventure.
Do the university campuses in your city reflect their mission, like Florida Polytechnic University? Is there campus architecture that has earned distinction in your city? Share your thoughts and your city's stories in the comments area below.