Tampa Bay History Center


LOCATION:  801 Old Water Street, Tampa, FL 33602

ARCHITECT:  Verner Johnson

BUILT:  2009

SIZE:  60,000 SF

UNIQUE FACT:  First Hillsborough County-owned building registered under the LEED Green Building Rating System

EXHIBITS AND THEATERS:  Christopher Chadbourne & Associates

PHOTO CREDITS:  Matthew Paulson, Flickr

WEBSITE:  www.tampabayhistorycenter.org

The Tampa Bay History Center stands as a glass jewel overlooking the Garrison Channel and the Hillsborough River.  Located on a 2.5 acres site, it is part of the Tampa Riverwalk, a 2.2-mile stretch that will contain seven parks, 11 bridges, and five museums when the project is complete.

The energy-efficient 60,000 square-foot museum reaches a maximum height of eighty-nine feet. The museum’s exterior is composed of a complex system of glass and steel.  A 62-foot tall atrium is protected by tri-color curtain wall glazing. Hues of bronze, blue, and green glass give distinction to each balcony level and provide unobstructed waterfront views. The atrium lobby is filled with suspended colorful exhibit “icons” representing Tampa’s history and culture.

Perforated aluminum sunshades extend over the glazing, enhancing the design while maximizing energy efficiency. Exterior cladding incorporates regional materials such as cast stone and stucco. Weather-resistant materials, such as stainless steel panels, ensure longevity.

The museum tells the rich history of the region through interactive exhibits and theaters. The building features dramatic gathering and function spaces designed to draw together the county’s diverse cultures and communities.


The Museum is Energy Efficient

The design and construction of the Tampa Bay History Center incorporated sustainable initiatives to meet LEED Standards. Before construction began, the contractor excavated down to the water table. All removed dirt was screened, and clean fill was added, raising the elevation needed for building. Other measures were taken to prevent loss of topsoil and damage to the ecosystem.

The design and construction team reduced environmental impact by selecting materials with recycled content and eliminating excessive transportation of goods using materials extracted, processed, and manufactured within 500 miles of the site. Over 340 tons of waste, or 89 percent of construction debris, was recycled. Additionally, casework and doors are made of wood from managed-growth forests certified by the Forest Stewardship Council. Low volatile organic compounds and coatings were used to ensure residual off-gassing was minimized or eliminated. Additionally, precautions were taken to protect the duct system from contaminants during the installation process.

The building interior features low-flow fixtures and sensor-activated faucets and water closets to conserve water use. Energy savings will also result from room occupancy sensors, a controlled lighting system, and energy-efficient appliances.


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