In the United States, Florida stands synonymously with vacation. Named after flowers, this state has every imaginable aspect of delight. From amusement parks to exotic beaches, Florida expresses diversity both naturally and by man-made means. It hosts nine out of the ten growing communities in the country. Multiple colonization and rapidly established settlements add different flavours to its culture. This is why Florida has nothing stereotypical associated with it. Everything here is an assimilation of heritage, lifestyle, and customs. We see this deeply represented in Florida’s architecture. The structures here cannot be classified into one category.
Here are the top ten examples of the architecture that define Florida:
Florida Polytechnic University | Florida Architecture
The Florida Polytechnic University was planned by the eminent Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava. Its campus sprawls over 170 acres. According to Calatrava, the university’s style was inspired by Florida’s geography of coasts, marshes, swamps, and lake environment. Its first structure is situated at the northern end of a linear lake which not only adds to its aesthetics but also retains stormwater for onsite irrigation. Its arched steel members house numerous teaching labs, classrooms, offices, and an amphitheatre. The white aluminium louvres are automated and shade the roof to prevent glare.
Plant Hall University of Tampa
Widely appreciated by the international architectural university, the Plant Hall University of Tampa was designed by J. A. Wood. Its style falls under the genre of Moorish revival. It initially started as a posh hotel but after the decline of tourism in Tampa, it was converted into a university. With 511 rooms and 6 minarets, it is the most recognizable landmark.
Salvador Dali Museum St Petersburg | Florida Architecture
An excellent homage to Salvador Dali, the 68000 square feet museum is fashioned on the vibes of surrealism. Its most notable feature is its large glass entryway and skylight. The thick concrete and glass protect the museum from hurricanes. Nicknamed the “Enigma”, the glazed atrium structure by HOK draws its inspiration from the Buckminsterfullerene. For precautions against Florida’s stormy weather, it has thick walls on the outside.
Florida Southern College
A private college situated at Lakeland, it is home to the world’s largest single-site collection of Frank Lloyd architecture. This Florida college was initially a lakeside orange grove until Wright transformed it into a modern campus. Its campus is said to be one of the most beautiful in the United States. Its architecture was based on the multifaceted aspects of light and thus Wright’s collection of architecture on the campus is collectively called “Child of the Sun.”.
Miami Tower | Florida Architecture
Located in Miami, this tower is a landmark office skyscraper. It has 47 stories and is widely known for its elaborate display of illuminations at night. The Miami tower is featured in popular culture. This is because of its luxurious interiors including a sky lobby on the eleventh floor covered in gold and marble
Cape St. George Lighthouse
The Cape St. George Lighthouse in Florida was built due to great demand from ship captains. This was because of the sharp convex bend at its island’s southern coast. Even though it occupied less than one acre, it stood as high as 72 feet for 153 years. It toppled due to a hurricane in 2005. But three years later, it was restored to pristine condition.
The Porcher House
The Porcher House, built in Cocoa, is present in the U.S. National Register of Historic Places. The House is a poignant example of classical revival architecture. This suites Florida’s climate. The House’s building materials are native coquina rock. The interiors were finished with tea, oak, and cedar. It has ten bedrooms. It is currently a city hall.
The Garden Ballroom | Florida Architecture
The Garden Ballroom situated in Downtown Winter Haven in Florida was built in the year 1926. It has nostalgic arcade-style architecture giving off the train station vibe with flourishing brick walls and arches. It is currently the most sought-after wedding destination.
Lewis Spring House
The Lewis Spring House was the only private residence designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. The pod-shaped houses were built on ten acres of hardwoods in Florida’s Capital City, Tallahassee. It is based on a confluence of arcs and is contemporary to the Guggenheim Museum.
Panorama Tower | Florida Architecture
The Panorama Tower is Florida’s tallest building with 85 stories. It is situated in Miami and is based on modernism. It provides spaces for multiple functions. A section of the skyscraper has been reserved for residential purposes. Another section has been reserved for hospitality. And the remaining is allotted for official purposes. Even though it has faced a lot of corporate hiccups throughout its development, it is still the most firmly planted notable landmark of the city. The tower’s official architect was Moshe Cosicher.
Thus from the aforementioned ten examples, it is indicated that the type of architecture in Florida cannot be neatly fitted into a box. It celebrates the population’s various modes of lifestyles and brings out the best. It does so in a relevant and responsible manner by keenly emphasizing what is beneficial to the environment more than its decorative aspects. Architecture in Florida stands by utilizing space to its maximum capacity.
- /author/deane-Madsen (2014) Santiago Calatrava’s Florida Polytechnic University Opens Tomorrow, Architect. Available at: https://www.architectmagazine.com/design/buildings/santiago-calatravas-florida-polytechnic-university-opens-tomorrow_o (Accessed: November 26, 2022).
- Bubil, H. (2020) Florida Buildings I Love: No. 23: Henry B. Plant Museum, 1891, formerly Tampa Bay Hotel, Tribune. Sarasota Herald-Tribune. Available at: https://www.heraldtribune.com/story/business/real-estate/2020/05/30/florida-buildings-i-love-no-23-henry-b-plant-museum-1891-formerly-tampa-bay-hotel/41967483/ (Accessed: November 26, 2022).
- Post, N.M. (2019) Salvador Dalí Museum by HOK Opens This Month in Florida, Architectural Record RSS. Architectural Record. Available at: https://www.architecturalrecord.com/articles/2096-salvador-dal%C3%AD-museum-by-hok-opens-this-month-in-florida (Accessed: November 26, 2022).