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Project

Exploration Tower at Port Canaveral

Exploration Tower is an architectural landmark introducing visitors to the history of the Port Canaveral, Florida area.

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Project Details

Project Partners
GWWO Architects
Owner
Canaveral Port Authority
Location
Cape Canaveral, Florida
Completion Date
Area
22,000 ft²
Project Awards

AIA Maryland, Excellence in Design Awards,2016

Exploration Tower at Port Canaveral in Cape Canaveral, Florida. Robert Creamer photo
Exploration Tower at Port Canaveral in Cape Canaveral, Florida. Robert Creamer photo
Exploration Tower at Port Canaveral in Cape Canaveral, Florida. Thornton Tomasetti
Exploration Tower at Port Canaveral in Cape Canaveral, Florida. Thornton Tomasetti
Exploration Tower at Port Canaveral in Cape Canaveral, Florida. Thornton Tomasetti
Exploration Tower at Port Canaveral in Cape Canaveral, Florida. Thornton Tomasetti
Exploration Tower at Port Canaveral in Cape Canaveral, Florida. Thornton Tomasetti
Exploration Tower at Port Canaveral in Cape Canaveral, Florida. Thornton Tomasetti
Exploration Tower at Port Canaveral in Cape Canaveral, Florida. Thornton Tomasetti

Designing a Vertical Exhibition Center

Exploration Tower is an architectural landmark introducing visitors to the history of the Port Canaveral area, from the native settlers to the 21st century space program, through seven stories of exhibits and information. The center includes indoor and outdoor observation decks, a 72-seat theater / auditorium, meeting and function space, and a café.

We provided structural design and construction engineering to GWWO Architects for the 22,000-square-foot center, which opened in 2013.

Highlights

  • Progressively smaller floor plates cantilever from two main sloping pipe columns at the front of the building. A curved metal-panel shell supported by segmented columns and curved wind girts encloses the rear. An exposed curved steel-tube canopy extends 60 feet above the seventh-floor observation deck.
  • Following a wind-tunnel study, hurricane-level lateral loads are resisted by two concrete cores that house the egress stairs. The foundations consist of pile caps with precast concrete piles that extend 95 feet into the soil.
  • Construction engineering services included connection design, full Tekla modeling, and steel shop drawing production.
  • Steel costs were controlled by issuing the fully connected Tekla model for steel bid.
  • Integrating the steel connection design and Tekla modeling into the project during the construction document phase provided significant schedule savings.

With its shimmering, iridescent exterior, Exploration Tower at Port Canaveral beckons visitors with its unique appearance as its color changes in different light and at different angles.