Santiago Calatrava to Design Cornerstone for USF Polytechnic’s New Campus

TAMPA, Fla. (June 16, 2009) - The University of South Florida Polytechnic has commissioned the acclaimed architectural firm Santiago Calatrava/Festina Lente Services, Inc. to design the first building for the school's new campus in Lakeland, Fla., and update the campus master plan, USF President Judy Genshaft announced today. 

Santiago Calatrava will design the 100,000-square-foot USFP Science & Technology building, which will sit on the northernmost corner of the campus at the intersection of Interstate 4 and the Polk Parkway. The Science & Technology building will be the cornerstone of the new campus and will establish the design scheme for all buildings within phase I of the campus master plan. Groundbreaking is expected late this year, with a scheduled opening in late summer 2012. 

Calatrava is best known for his celebrated designs of bridges, transportation centers and cultural institutes throughout the world. The USF Polytechnic facility will be his first design in the southeastern United States. 

Almost 70 years ago, legendary architect Frank Lloyd Wright made his mark on Lakeland with the Annie Pfieffer Chapel, the first of 10 structures he designed for Florida Southern College and a recent addition to the World Heritage List. With today's announcement, the orange grove town, now at the center of Florida's High Tech Corridor, will again be home to internationally acclaimed architecture.

The Calatrava commission follows a Florida Chamber of Commerce statewide voter survey that showed support for directing more of the state's economic resources to fostering talent, rather than relying on tourism and in-migration for economic development. USF Polytechnic, designated Florida's only polytechnic in 2008, focuses on hands-on learning that cultivates skills in the applied arts and sciences, business and education. 

Engaging Calatrava

Following a series of public meetings and presentations to the USFP Campus Architect Selection Committee, as well as an extensive due diligence process, Calatrava was selected in November 2008 to design the first building on the new USF Polytechnic campus. With the contractual process now complete, the Calatrava team will begin work on conceptual designs for the Science & Technology building, which is projected to cost $45 million and will use a combination of public and private funding.

Calatrava is an award-winning architect, sculptor and structural engineer with offices in his hometown of Valencia, Spain, Zurich, Switzerland and New York. Since completing his first commission for the design and construction of Zurich's Stadelhofen Railway Station in 1983, Calatrava has received acclaim for his projects, including the Montjuic Communications Tower in Barcelona, Spain; the Turning Torso in Malmö, Sweden; the Athens Olympic Sports Center in Athens, Greece; and the Quadracci Pavilion of the Milwaukee Art Museum in Milwaukee, Wis., his first project in the United States. Calatrava was commissioned to design the new World Trade Center Transportation Hub for Lower Manhattan in late 2003 and has numerous projects in progress throughout cities worldwide.

Calatrava, a graduate of a polytechnic university in Valencia, said, "I feel very fortunate to have been chosen to design the Science & Technology building for the University of South Florida Polytechnic's new campus. As an architect and an engineer, I greatly value the schools of science and technology. It is my goal to create a facility that both unites and pays homage to these two fields, while providing generations of students with a state-of-the-art education center in which to learn and grow."

On working with Calatrava, Genshaft said, "USF is very excited to work with Santiago Calatrava. With this selection, we have a visionary, modern architect designing a visionary, modern university."

Santiago Calatrava/Festina Lente will operate in partnership with Tampa-based architectural firm Alfonso Architects on the project.

About USF Polytechnic

In 2006, USF President Judy Genshaft brought Marshall Goodman to Florida as campus executive officer and vice president for USFP and charged him with transforming the landscape. Goodman sees the parallels between Central Florida and Silicon Valley, where he served as provost at San Jose State University. "By developing a world-class educational facility in the midst of a growing technology corridor that connects Florida's largest concentrations of population, we are in fact transforming the future of Lakeland, Polk County and Central Florida," he said.

USF Polytechnic is Florida's first and only polytechnic. As an integral part of the USF system, USF Polytechnic delivers bachelor's and master's degrees, as well as a variety of online, certificate and continuing education programs. The polytechnic model emphasizes applied learning and research and intensive collaboration with economic development partners in the region. Vibrant student life and challenging multi-disciplinary programs in fields such as information technology, engineering, business and education provide a distinctive educational experience at the heart of Florida's High Tech Corridor.

To watch a video of USF, USFP and Calatrava announcing the design commission, click here.

To download photos and press materials on the new USFP campus, click here

For more information contact Thomas Hagerty at USF Polytechnic at 863.667.7077,


The University of South Florida is one of the nation's top 63 public research universities and one of 39 community-engaged, four-year public universities as designated by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. USF was awarded more than $360 million in research contracts and grants in FY 2007/2008. The university offers 219 degree programs at the undergraduate, graduate, specialist and doctoral levels, including the doctor of medicine. The university has a $1.8 billion annual budget, an annual economic impact of $3.2 billion, and serves more than 46,000 students on institutions/campuses in Tampa, St. Petersburg, Sarasota-Manatee and Lakeland. USF is a member of the Big East Athletic Conference.