BUILDING A DAY: October 16, 2014
Silver Springs Tourist Center
Silver Spring, Florida
Architect: Victor Lundy
Photos: University of Florida Digital Collections. George A. Smathers Libraries
While Victor Lundy’s spectacular, soaring-roof churches in Florida are well known to architects, Lundy also designed precise, elegant Miesian structures that illustrate his wide-ranging creativity.
The Silver Springs Tourist Center received a national AIA award in 1959, with a comment that ?the architect created great beauty in a type of structure in which it is frequently lacking.? In contrast to the ?tacky tourist traps? of the 1950s, Lundy’s design at Silver Springs was understated, utilizing a steel structural bay system with floating roof planes, and at the same time generous, spacious, and inviting.
Wide walkways were protected with cantilevered roofs, and stepped forms provided opportunities for clerestory glass, long expanses of skylights and open areas that provided for light and breeze. The curved geometry follows the shoreline of the Spring, headwater of the Silver River. The glass-bottomed boats dock under the curved sheltering overhang at the water’s edge.