Recently, the Ledger wrote an article highlighting the first time Lakeland Linder cleared its US border crossing during the opening of its brand-new Customs facility, designed by The Lunz Group. The facility was originally an old hangar that was completely renovated into a fully-funcitoning customs and border facility for the Lakeland Linder airport. Design work included exterior repairs, window upgrades, ADA compliance, upgrades to fire sprinkler, mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems, and interior renovations including ceiling, wall and floor finishes – among much more. The overall design was crucial to turning Lakeland Linder Regional Airport into an international one during its inaugural border crossing on November 16, 2017.
According to the article, “Lakeland Linder can now accept flights of fewer than 20 passengers direct from overseas, the first step in a broader strategy to make Lakeland a destination for international visitors and freight.”
Read more about the history-making flight here.
Photography credit: Ernst Peters | The Ledger
Walk around downtown Dunedin and you will more than likely see a lot of growth in the area. The revitalization of the area is on the rise, and with that comes more buildings, more business, and a stronger downtown.
One of the newest projects coming soon: The Courtyard on Main, being designed by The Lunz Group’s very-own Dunedin office as well as citizens and stakeholders.
The Big Idea
This project is a mixed-use building which will be located on the corner of Main Street and Douglas Avenue, right in the historic downtown area. The project will feature retail, dining, and public spaces, as well as 18 luxury condominiums and a parking structure. The overall design and layout includes widened sidewalks, open spaces, outdoor dining, and public areas, creating a walker-friendly environment while also inspiring shared community spaces. There is also a large, open courtyard area that will be intended for use among residents and shop owners for private, intimate events – or even gathering together in a communal space – all right in the heart of downtown Dunedin.
By developing this mixed-use building, a once-vacant lot downtown will become an opportunity for residents to live, work, shop, and dine within the heart of the city center of Dunedin. Mixed-use projects benefit communities by creating jobs, raising property values and enhancing livability, all while minimizing impact on existing infrastructure. Although far more expensive to design and execute, the benefits tend to weigh in favor of mixed-use design among city centers.
The Design Phase
Our design process began much the same way all our projects do at The Lunz Group: investigation. We presented a Mediterranean Revival style concept, which added visual character to the building, and incorporated a rhythmic facade, extensive use of balconies, a varying roof line, and lush outdoor courtyard space. We completed thorough research of the existing architecture and spaces in downtown Dunedin, sourcing inspiration from the downtown surroundings before looking elsewhere and pulling in concepts from other walk-able cities around the world. We wanted to solve the problem through conscious response to the community needs of today and tomorrow. Keeping with the Mediterranean theme, the project will utilize materials such as stucco and clay tile, as well as pastel colors to visually break up the building walls and make it appear as if it had been built up over time.
In February 2016, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) received notice that they were to find a new location for the Aircraft Operations Center. On November 30, 2016 the decision was made official to relocate to Lakeland, Florida. The 10-year contract awarded to the city also required NOAA to design an operations center to house their office and laboratory staff, as well as their aircraft – including their largest and more popular planes, Hurricane Hunters. The Lunz Group was named the Architect on Record for the facility, which they broke ground on a week later.
The project was completed in 250 days, taking 72 days of design and 178 days to build the roughly 106,000 square fee, state of the art facility.
The project was Herculean in both scale and speed.
In the months following, Indie Atlantic Films captured the fast-paced and exhilarating day-to-day of construction on the facility, from ground breaking to open for business. Check out the video below or click on the link to view on Vimeo.
On Friday June 2nd, 2017, federal, state and local officials will gather at Lakeland Linder Regional Airport to participate in the ribbon cutting ceremony for the new NOAA Aircraft Operations Center (AOC). NOAA’s fleet of nine “specialized environmental data-gathering aircraft” will be housed in the 58,000 square foot hangar that will serve as the main base for the fleet and personnel. Additionally, 34,000 square feet of the 106,000 square foot facility is dedicated to offices and laboratories. The collection of planes includes two Lockheed WP-3D Orion named “Kermit” and “Miss Piggy”, as well as a Gulfstream IV-SP jet called “Gonzo” and six environmental monitoring planes.
It was announced in February that NOAA’s Aircraft Operations Center was leaving MacDill Airforce Base in Tampa, Florida and in November the City of Lakeland was awarded a 10-year lease to house the AOC. The Lunz Group was awarded the design contract in September and construction was started by Register Construction on December 5th, 2016.
The transition from Tampa to Lakeland will be complete in July, but the NOAA team, including the “hurricane hunters”, has been steadily moving into the space since the end of May so they can be prepared for hurricane season.
This event is free to attend and is open to the public. Gates open at 9:30 am and parking information can be found on the Lakeland Linder Regional Airport website. The ribbon cutting will take place promptly at 10:30 am.
NOAA’s mission is to understand and predict changes in the Earth’s environment, from the depths of the ocean to the surface of the sun, and to conserve and manage our coastal and marine resources. Join us on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and our other social media channels.
About The Lunz Group
The Lunz Group is a client-oriented, award-winning architectural firm with offices in Lakeland, Dunedin and Celebration, Florida. For the past 30 years, The Lunz Group has provided professional services including architectural design, interior design, master planning, programming and visualization with completed work in over 28 states and the District of Columbia.
Recently, The Ledger did a story on The Lunz Group being involved in designing the new home for the Hurricane Hunters. With a tight schedule to follow, our team took on the opportunity and hit the ground running.
Our team seamlessly adapted to the supply and timeline needs. While the window for the design phase of this type of project is typically three to six months, The Lunz Group will have completed the entire project in eight months. They were awarded the contract in September and the facility will be move-in ready on May 1st.
“This has been a real fluid process,” Brad Lunz said.
The Lunz Group is excited to be a part of this project and we are looking forward to welcoming the Hurricane Hunters to their new home this summer.
You can read the full article here.
We are excited to announce Lunz Prebor Fowler has acquired Graham Design Associates, a Dunedin-based firm with 35 years of public and private sector experience, known for its expertise in specialized medical facility
design. The acquisition is part of our multi-year strategic plan to enter the vertical market of medical work.
“We wanted to enter the market of medical facility design, and we were looking for a company with similar
values and culture,” said LPF President Bradley Lunz.
“Graham Design Associates has a deep portfolio of medical and diagnostic center design services, with many medical projects in our hometown of Lakeland. This acquisition will bring additional expertise into our firm as we expand our presence throughout the southeast.”
“We are excited for the opportunity to join Lunz Prebor Fowler Architects,” said Jim Graham, founder of Graham Design Associates. “Lunz Prebor Fowler is known for its standards of excellence and innovation, and we are pleased that our work will become part of their diverse portfolio.”
Graham Design Associates, established in 1981, designed the following medical facilities in the Lakeland area: Watson Clinic Medical Center, Watson Clinic Bella Vista Building, Clark & Daughtrey Medical Group and Clark & Daughtrey Cancer Center. The firm is currently working on projects for Lakeland Regional Health Main Campus, Lakeland Surgical & Diagnostic Center and multiple Watson Clinic locations.
In addition to medical facilities, this acquisition will help LPF as we grow our current markets, by increasing our presence in Tampa Bay’s government and public safety sectors. Graham Design Associates’ work includes commercial office space, building interiors, industrial buildings, banks, residential complexes and various public sector projects throughout the Tampa Bay area. Graham Design Associates will retain its name until the end of the year and will take on the name Lunz Prebor Fowler Architects in 2017.
The School of Business at Saint Leo University has recently received two awards for environmentally responsible and sustainable practices in the design, construction and operation of the facility. The School of Business earned LEED Gold and is the University’s first LEED project. LPF’s personnel provided the LEED Design and Documentation for the building.
In addition to LEED Gold, the building also received a Florida Water Star certification from the Southwest Florida Water Management District. Saint Leo University is only the third commercial development to earn this distinction within the district’s 16 counties.
The aquarium in the common area of the Student Housing Buildings at Saint Leo University was featured on Animal Planet’s “Tanked.” LPF worked with the Tanked crew to design the aquarium and incorporate it into the lobby area. For more information, check out the Tanked Reveal.
SLU’s Housing Buildings 5 & 6 were designed by Lunz Prebor Fowler Architects and completed in August 2012. The suite-style residence halls house 340 students and feature many amenities for the students in addition to the fish tank.
Lunz Prebor Fowler was recently recognized at the 6th Annual Cultural Arts Recognition Program Awards Reception on behalf of Platform Art and the Polk Arts Alliance. LPF was chosen for their contributions as volunteers who have given many hours of their time, passion and hard work in support of the arts in our community. Below is an excerpt from the design awards presentation that highlights LPF’s contributions that led to receipt of this award.
“Lunz Prebor Fowler Architects is committed to the cultural growth of Lakeland and Polk County. Principal architects and staff are extensively involved in a variety of service and cultural organizations, philanthropic efforts and regional boards. Principals and interior designers for the firm have donated their expertise, time, and resources to organizations like Platform Art, the Polk Museum of Art, and Habitat for Humanity – at times providing professional design services and construction as well. Lunz Prebor Fowler is the longest consecutive sponsor of Platform Art, supporting the organization since 2004 when it received non-profit status. Principal, Ed Lunz, AIA sits on the Platform Art National Advisory Board; and Principal, Victor Prebor, AIA serves on the committee for Platform’s newest innovative, international program, Pecha Kucha. They have dedicated more than 1% of their revenue for annual contributions to regional nonprofits. This commitment to our community represents a much higher goal than the industry standard. Lunz Prebor Fowler Architects’ philanthropic efforts are exemplary. The firm fully understands the value cultural organizations bring to the region including economic development, diversity and quality of life. Members of the Lunz Prebor Fowler team serve as advisors and mentors to many organizations in our region. Their vision for our community is clear, committed and sincere. They have nurtured Platform Art and seen it grow from its humble beginnings as a grass roots arts organization to a sustainable partner and contributor to the vision and growth of our region – making Lakeland and Polk County a cultural destination in Central Florida. Polk County appreciates Lunz Prebor Fowler for stimulating creativity and innovation and we thank them for their partnership in supporting cultural heritage and future growth.”
Lunz Prebor Fowler Architects received the highest honor at the Inaugural 2012 Livable Polk Awards: The Judges’ Choice. Projects were judged based on conservation development and planning, healthy community design and sustainable development. Additional judging criteria included the preservation and restoration of natural resources, integration and preservation of open spaces, and enhancement of natural areas.
LPF’s Polk County Nature Discovery Center was recognized as “the best of the best” and a project that is making Polk County a livable place for generations to come.
The Polk County Nature Discovery Center is located in the center of over 1,200 acres at Circle B Bar Reserve on Lake Hancock. The center was designed as a hub for students and visitors to explore the natural resources and learn about a variety of ecosystems.
Conservation planning was utilized in the development of the buildings and parking areas. Locations were chosen based on the preservation of existing hammocks, open space, proximity to the lakefront and direct connection to existing nature trails. The buildings were designed as an environmental and aesthetic reflection to Florida’s historical culture. Using passive techniques from the ‘cracker’ style construction of Old Florida as a point of departure, the buildings embrace contemporary methods of sustainability. From boardwalks to mechanical systems, modern materials and techniques were employed to further enhance the sustainable qualities of the complex.
The facility opened in 2008 and has also received the 2009 Merit Award for Architecture from the Tampa Bay Chapter of the American Institute of Architects.