The Illuminating Lens

Florida Polytechnic University – Their Iconic IST Building – Part 1

In 2012 the Florida Legislature  & Gov Scott signed a bill that added another university to the state system.   Florida Polytechnic University in Lakeland is that new college.  Shortly, thereafter, as we drove along Interstate 4 between Tampa and Orlando a large construction site appeared.  We all figured it was FPU but at some point we realized that something very different was being built there.  It was the IST Building (Innovation, Science, Technology Building).   The construction site drew so much attention that

Chrysler used the site for a Dodge Ram commercial.

IST Building and reflecting pond.

From Wikipedia:

IST Building

“The 162,000-square-foot IST Building is the University’s main facility. It houses 26 classrooms, 11 innovation laboratories, auditoriums and other meeting rooms.[29] The building is also home to the school’s digital library.

Designed by Spanish architect Dr. Santiago Calatrava, the building includes 94 robotic louvers on the roof that move to accommodate changing sunlight patterns.”

When the building starting taking shape we knew this was going to be an iconic addition to Central Florida!   So as soon as the campus was opened I made the short drive over to get some images!  The first time I visited, it was late morning but this building gave me even more shadows than I was expecting.  Instead of worrying about them, I embraced those shadows.

I have made images of the IST Building from all sides and at different times of day and this building just loves to be photographed!

Even parts of the structure are very interesting and make great abstract compositions.


This is a sunset image that is a favorite!  I could not believe the colors when I first saw the image on my computer monitor!

In the dark the lighting on the structure just makes it pop from the night sky!


The building is so long that I have had to use an ultra wide angle lens  (Sigma 15mm f 2.8 Fisheye) or shoot a series of images and combine them in Photoshop into a panorama.

Since I am usually on the campus on the weekends, I had not been there when they had the louvered panels up, until one early morning!   Literally, as I was shooting this image they started lowering the panels. 

The IST building lends itself to a little fun & artistic post-processing as well!   I used Topaz Glow to give the white building a little extra color!

Whether you are looking for a very special university for yourself or your child or just like to see different architecture, I would recommend stopping to see the IST Building at Florida Polytechnic University.

Part 2 will feature some interior views!

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To see the original images and more of this photogenic building, please visit my gallery.

That is all for now!


Lynn Wiezycki

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