Fiberglass Turrets Adorn the Orlando Skyline 30 Years Later

April 02 2018

Within the urban skyline landscape of Orlando, Florida, four 35' high x 35' square fiberglass turrets flank one another atop the SunTrust Bank Building. Originally conceived over 30 years ago as steel and aluminum decorations, the fiberglass turrets of EXTREN structural shapes and FIBREBOLT fiberglass studs and nuts housed 20' high antennae for first responders’ communication. Strongwell’s fiberglass structural products comprehensively gained L.A.R.R. approval. This certification allowed the developer to alter the metallic design to composites due to composites transparency to radio signals.

Each turret has four windows with the frames fabricated from EXTREN Series 525. Three sides have 27' high x 5' wide windows and one side has a 10' high x 5' wide window. Each fiberglass superstructure is covered in custom molded fiberglass panels. The fiberglass turrets were designed by project architects, Owens, Skidmore & Merill to accommodate hurricane winds common in Florida.

Over the past three decades, the developer reports that they continue to utilize the internal space of the aesthetic superstructure to conceal signal amplifiers and perform little to no maintenance on the superstructures. Maintenance workers reported the only efforts they put forth are to check the tightness of bolts every few years or after significant weather events.

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