What’s Happening In Winter Park: Canopy Highlights

  • Set within a 23-acre park, the Winter Park Canopy, which will house the city’s new library & events center, will offer spectacular views of the water’s edge and beautiful natural surroundings. The city has approved conceptual and schematic designs, and on September 24 approved the preliminary and final Conditional Use to advance the design and engineering of the buildings. Here are some important facts about the Canopy.

The Library

  • The place to nurture and educate the minds of the young & young at heart, bring the community together and inspire lifelong learning

Exceeding All Needs

  • The city and its team are carefully building a modernized library that will be flexible in structure, design, and technology to transition and grow in the future.
  • The new library design is not only meeting but exceeding the needs and expectations of the library staff for services, programming, and collections planned for patrons.

Better Use of Space

  • The older and unique design of the current library has fixed walls, hallways, and many small triangular-shaped areas, totaling approximately 10,000 square feet, that are unusable and non-programmable.
  • The new library is being thoughtfully designed to be more efficient and flexible in its use of space which will increase the net usable “programmable” square footage by approximately 27 percent.
  • The two-story design, with open sight lines from central workstations, will allow fewer staff to monitor the entire facility.
  • The children’s space, the most highly trafficked area of the library, will expand by roughly 20 percent and will include designated reading and play areas, a story room and workstations.
  • Modernized digital audio storage will replace outdated CDs and reduce storage space requirements.
  • New Genius Lab and Makerspaces will increase the number of computers available to patrons.
  • The space for historical archives will be expanded to an entire conservation room complemented by interactive displays, a new memory lab, archival research desk, and history teaching space.
  • New spaces will be devoted to a business center and audio/visual room.
  • New spaces have been specially designed for social and reading areas, group workstations, and study rooms.
  • The new theatre space will accommodate more than a 50 percent increase in attendees than the current community room, and is also designed to be used as an attractive casual reading space when not used for programming.

The Events Center

  • A true community gathering space for celebrations, meetings, and memories in the making.

New and Extraordinary

  • As the newest state-of-the-art events center in the area, the city is already responding to calls about booking this new space.
  • Situated within a 23-acre park, the beautiful setting will be emphasized through the views from the expansive windows on three sides of the Grand Hall.
  • Vaulted ceilings and a modernized lighting and sound system will create an ambiance for the most formal to casual events.
  • A catering kitchen will include full-service amenities for caterers to store, prepare, cook, clean and serve without interfering with the overall guest experience.
  • Dressing rooms for the events center’s brides and grooms have been thoughtfully prepared with comfortable seating, private bathrooms and even gaming stations to occupy the bridal parties.

The Outdoor Experience

  • Surrounding the Winter Park Canopy is an outdoor space known as the Belvedere that offers pathways and spaces for programmed gatherings, relaxing and socializing. The Belvedere engages the Canopy with the park activities and connects it to the meandering walkways around the lake edges. On the southerly end, a large open event space has been designed to host a variety of outdoor events.

Other Improvements

  • Approximately 125 trees will be planted, to replace aging trees, giving the Canopy diversity in species including live oaks, magnolias, cypresses, and crape myrtles.
  • Stormwater improvements will not only improve drainage at the site but will also address drainage on Morse Boulevard and Denning Drive that have experienced flooding in the past.
  • At the City Commission’s request, the design team is also exploring the option for stormwater pretreatment that does not exist today.
  • The project is designed with 237 parking spaces which is approximately 62 percent above the code requirement of 146. This will allow for more parking in the future, if needed.

The Vision

  • The city selected architects, a collaboration between HuntonBrady Architects and Adjaye Associates, is led by the visioning and design of Sir David Adjaye whose resume includes:
  • Designed the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of African-American History & Culture, on the National Mall in Washington D.C.
  • Designed two libraries in Washington D.C.: Francis A. Gregory Neighborhood Library and the William O. Lockridge/Bellevue Library.
  • Selected to design the new UK Holocaust Memorial and Learning Centre, in Westminster London, near Parliament.
  • Selected as the executive architect in collaboration with Cooper Robertson for the new Princeton University Art Museum.
  • Knighted by Queen Elizabeth in 2017.
  • Named one of the 100 most influential people in the world by TIME magazine.

The former civic center is expected to be demolished in early 2019 with construction to begin on the Canopy shortly thereafter. The project is on track for a grand opening date of August 2020. Upon completion, the Winter Park Canopy will be a true piece of art that can be added to Winter Park’s menu of existing treasures in its nine square miles. Whether you visit to toast newlyweds in the Grand Hall, enjoy a musical performance at the outdoor amphitheater, jump start your new business in the library’s new business center or participate in a speaker series in the theatre, you will be mesmerized by the ambiance and atmosphere of your extraordinary experience at the Winter Park Canopy. More Information: cityofwinterpark.org/nextchapterwp


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Written by Lyndsay Fogarty

Lyndsay Fogarty has had many roles at Central Florida Lifestyle, working her way from intern to contributing writer to managing editor. She is a graduate of the University of Central Florida’s Nicholson School of Communication where she earned her degree in journalism. Along the way, she has learned that teamwork and dedication to your craft will get you far, and a positive outlook on the present will get you even farther.

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