Florida Southern College Dedicates First Building at Barnett Residential Life CenterMay 22, 2008
Today Florida Southern College dedicated Wesley Hall, the first of two new student residences at the Barnett Residential Life Center on the shore of Lake Hollingsworth. The College's Lakeland, Florida, campus boasts the largest grouping of Frank Lloyd Wright buildings in the world. Wright's work developed complex 30º-60º-90º geometry and responded to the local climate with deep overhanging eaves and shaded esplanades.
The Barnett Residential Life Center, funded by FSC alumni Carol and Barney Barnett and Publix Super Markets Charities, replaces unsympathetic later buildings that ran parallel to the lakefront with two four-story Y-shaped buildings set on a diagonal to reestablish Wright's geometries and open views from the center of campus to the water. Broad staircases descend to generous lawns between the residence halls to provide open space for student leisure.
"Today, Florida Southern College launches a new era in the residential life experiences of its students," said FSC president Dr. Anne B. Kerr. "The Barnett Residential Life Center will become the standard for student living and learning spaces throughout the nation."
"We are proud to be a part of the continuing evolution of the Florida Southern campus with a building that we hope is sympathetic to Wright's master works, but with its own presence and identity," said Alexander P. Lamis, partner at Robert A.M. Stern Architects. "We applaud the vision of the Barnett family, who recognize the importance of creating a more welcoming and distinctive public face for the campus along Lake Hollingsworth."