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Rendering of a multi-story college featuring architectural lines accented with wood
Florida Polytechnic University Wendt Engineering Building

New Engineering Facility Provides Enhanced Research and Development


Florida Polytechnic University

Project Location

Orlando, FL


40,000 SF


Architecture, interiors

Florida Polytechnic University, the only public polytechnic university of the State University System of Florida, embarked on the mission to enhance research and development with a new engineering facility for its students. This facility, aligned with FPU’s dedicated focus on STEM education, is envisioned to support the programs of their Applied Research Center to the north and align with the broader campus vision and educational objectives by complementing the design of the Innovation, Science, and Technology building.

We partnered with CPPI Construction on a design-build approach for the forthcoming Gary C. Wendt Engineering Building 1 that is deeply rooted in the principles of place, innovation, and modularity for function and building efficiency. The design creates an innovation hub for engineering students to research and experiment while also providing a much-needed courtyard and outdoor learning plaza, establishing a strong connection between this building and the emerging campus fabric. The design cleverly embraces the building’s dual roles, serving as both a makerspace and a social hub for student interaction. It proudly showcases the act of “making,” putting students at the forefront within a central atrium that welcomes individuals from various disciplines.

The utilization of unprocessed materials like refined concrete and exposed structural elements throughout the building pays homage to the detailed and framework processes of the student creators. Our team’s extensive research into higher education spaces, CPPI Construction’s pulse on materials & methods, coupled with the invaluable input from Florida Polytechnic’s students and faculty through thoughtful design engagement will ultimately inform the final design of the structure.

The fully realized Gary C. Wendt Engineering Building includes a 40,000-SF, two-story facility. The first phase of design-build work includes the current design and shell construction of the entire facility with a focus of building out approximately 12,000 SF of usable first-floor space with subsequent buildout phases to follow as funding allows. The design of the building features raw materials and exposed structural elements to express the architectural integrity of the facility and to provide spaces for student creativity and connection.

The Gary C. Wendt Engineering Building anticipates the development of four flexible working labs to accommodate the university’s civil and mechanical engineering lab programs. Additional program elements include core building support spaces for systems operations, an office suite accommodating six offices and a conference room, a front entry/student collaboration zone that welcomes students and visitors alike, and shelled areas for future office and lab expansions throughout the ground floor.

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