Buildings I Love, Harold Bubil: No. 112: Christoverson Building, 2010, Lakeland


Lake Hollingsworth Drive, Florida Southern College. Robert AM Stern Associates, Architects

Florida Southern College is celebrated by Frank Lloyd Wright for its buildings – “the largest collection” of FLW structures in the world.

In recent years, however, several notable buildings have been added to the campus, including four by the internationally renowned New York office of Robert AM Stern Architects.

The Christoverson Humanities Building, designed by Stern (born 1939) and Alexander Lamis from his company, pays homage to Wright with its red tubular columns – not as dark as Wright’s favorite “Cherokee Red” – and light brown masonry blocks in a stacked bond.

The building is prominently located, overlooking Lake Hollingsworth, and serves as the new gateway to the private college campus. The roof, built in 2010, hovers over the entrance, much like Arquitectonica’s 2006 Herald Tribune building in Sarasota.

Inside, the classrooms and faculty offices are hidden behind a double-high atrium with a student lounge on the second level.

The Christoverson is a significant departure from the postmodern work that the eclectic star was known for earlier in his career. No stranger to Florida, Stern, Vincent Scully Prize winner and member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, designed the neo-traditional Yacht Club and Beach Club resort complexes at Disney World. As a former board member of Walt Disney Co., he was the lead planner for Disney’s neo-traditional Master Plan Community Celebration, which was developed in the 1990s.

Stern’s newer buildings in neoclassical, modern and neo-modern languages ​​demonstrate his company’s proficiency in a variety of “styles”.

The Christoverson stands on the FSC campus as a stately addition and not as a competitor to the Frank Lloyd Wright structures.

“Florida Buildings I Love” is Harold Bubils homage to the built environment of the Sunshine State. This article originally appeared on March 2, 2019.

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