Florida Polytechnic University

Florida Polytechnic University | Lakeland, FL

See The Collaboration

Santiago Calatrava, Owner
Santiago Calatrava, Architects & Engineers


Luke Rassmussen, Project Manager
MG McGrath Architectural Glass and Glazing

OBE Engineer

James Hester, Senior Project Manager
Oldcastle BuildingEnvelope®

Project Details

Santiago Calatrava's “Innovation, Science & Technology Building” for Florida Polytechnic University, is part of the architect’s master plan for the school’s expanded campus. Costing $60 million to complete, the 160,000 square foot project houses a range of classrooms, auditoriums and research labs alongside faculty offices and academic administration resources. The massive structure comprises four pedestrian bridges connecting the two-story structure with the surrounding development.

Calatrava developed the award winning design for Florida Polytechnic University with a repeated skeletal framework, showcasing a latticed envelope stretched across a series of dramatic arched ribs. The vast scheme is crowned with a rising operable roof—reflecting a bird in flight—that can be adapted in order to regulate the desired amount of direct light required in response to the sun’s daily movement. When the operable roof opens, it reveals more than 17,500 square feet of custom-engineered, glazed skylights by Oldcastle BuildingEnvelope® (OBE).

One of the 16
Most Breathtaking
buildings in the world

Business Insider

Project Details

“This was an incredible project to be a part of,” said Luke Rasmussen, Project Manager, MG McGrath Architectural Glass and Glazing—Glazing Contractor for the Innovation, Science and Technology Building at Florida Polytechnic University. “It is the kind of project that comes once maybe twice in a career. And when you are working with one of the pre-eminent and most inventive architects of our time, you understand you are working at the highest levels of design and engineering. And that is where MG McGrath excels. Typically on a project you encounter several design and engineering challenges, on Florida Polytechnic, everything was a challenge. There was nothing “standard” every piece of the skylight was custom—and no two lites of glass were alike. It isn’t possible to get a project completed like this without good partners. OBE was a critical partner for us throughout each step in the process.”

OBE was a critical partner
for us throughout each
step in the process

Luke Rassmussen Project Manager
MG McGrath Architectural Glass and Glazing

Project Details

“Florida Polytechnic University was without a doubt one of the most interesting, and most challenging, projects of my career,” said James Hester, Senior Project Manager Oldcastle BuildingEnvelope®. “We were initially selected based on our ability to engineer the architect’s vision, our capability to render the complex geometry of the glazed skylight and our technical support. We leveraged our highly versatile BMS-3000 skylight for total design flexibility with a high performance insulating glass unit comprised of heat strengthened glass with a low-E coating and an interior lite of laminated glass. What made this project challenging was that each lite of glass was a parallelogram and each section a different size with no 90-degree corners. That literally meant that each part of the skylight was different and fit together like a puzzle made of glass and aluminum. We were very fortunate that Santiago Calatrava and McGrath were great partners to work with.”

Each part of the skylight
was different and fit
together like a puzzle made
of glass and aluminum.

James Hester Senior Project Manager

17,592 sq. ft. of products used on Florida Polytechnic

BMS 3000 Pyramid
BMS-3000 Pyramid See BMS-3000 Pyramid
Insulating Glass
Insulating Glass See Insulating Glass

Florida Polytechnic Time Lapse Video