Furr and Wegman Architects, P.A.
Workforce advancement was the driving motivation behind Polk State College’s new Clear Springs Advanced Technology Center which houses high-tech programs including Supply Chain Management, Advanced Manufacturing and Information Technology, serving 7,200 students annually. Material selections were based not only on practical concerns, but also for their unique aesthetic qualities creating enjoyable, dynamic well-defined spaces. Color, texture and intriguing patterns define flow, focal points and semi-private zones. Delineated collaboration areas create inviting gathering spots.
Design emerged from a collaborative effort focused on trust and empowerment. The firm maintained a consistent, unified design team from programming throughout construction in harmony with the College’s leadership, curriculum development, and new branding. This teaming presented the “perfect convergence,” surfacing in new, unchartered architectural design elements for Polk State which instill a keen sense of excitement within the students, faculty and administration by utilization of the College’s new “shield” image at the main entry and development of “eagle’s talon” features within the building’s design elements at columns, sunshades and canopies.
Ever changing play of sunlight, shadows, and reflections are witnessed throughout all faces of the facility. Glimmering bright metal technology lab cladding identifies the heart and soul of this center, celebrating exciting new educational programs within. The interior design highlights labs with open views from circulation areas. Provisions for anticipated future expansion were pre-planned and well integrated throughout. There is no “back door” to this facility, which was a challenging site constraint.
Curvilinear playfulness of both structure and finishes at public exterior and interior spaces encourage visitors to explore and confirm that they have arrived at a unique type of higher education facility. A center that combines a wide variety of functions and flexibility of uses within adaptable labs, offices and classrooms, creating a showcase of the integration of technology, sustainability, efficiency, branding, and collaboration.