UD-001 Nathan Benderson Park Finish Tower
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    About

    2019 AIA Tampa Bay Honor and Design Awards
    Published:
Fawley Bryant Architecture

This public park, once a sand and shell mine, was transformed into a 161.8 hectare lake, 8 x 13.5 meter rowing lanes, grand stands, event lawns, and the world class Finish Tower.

The five-story Finish Tower was designed as an instrument for viewing by embracing precision and sight. The form of the building was generated by the need to be parallel with the rowing lanes for viewing while creating a space perpendicular to the finish line for judging. The required functions acted as a generator of form and program. The building consists of an elevated horizontal plinth with a vertical glass tower placed above to capture full, 360-degree views of the course and surrounding event space to the east.

Designing an iconic structure that is visible from main access points to the County, and honors the legacy of the land donor’s family was a feat in schedule and detailing. A collaborative design and documentation process allowed two local firms to participate in the project with the County and the builder. Input from the regional sports authority, an international association, and timely decisions from all parties put this facility on the map for an international competition.  Many local, regional, state and national competitions are held at the Finish Tower annually. Between competitions, the facility is used by many community groups for a variety of events and activities.