Port Canaveral’s Exploration Tower features color-changing, iridescent exterior

The Exploration Tower is a symbol of Port Canaveral's revitalization.

Exploration Tower is a symbol of Port Canaveral’s revitalization.

Exploration Tower at Port Canaveral beckons visitors with its unique appearance as its color changes in different light and at different angle. Opened in November 2013, the Port’s iconic welcome center showcases the first use of Valspar’s new Kameleon Color mica coating as spray-applied to Firestone Metal Products’ UNA-CLAD metal wall panels by Linetec.

An integral part of Florida’s Space Coast and Canaveral Cove’s revitalization, Exploration Tower is owned by Canaveral Port Authority. Its opening coincided with the Port’s 60th anniversary of its establishment and the 500th anniversary of Ponce de Leon’s landing on Florida’s east coast.

Taking its cues from the shapes and hues of the port, GWWO Inc./Architects designed the $23 million, seven-story, sail-shaped structure to express the common characteristics of “transience, function and imagery.” The building’s southern elevation soars from the water to the sky. It narrows in scale and reduces its exterior coverage until only the steel frame remains to outline the curvature and comes together at a peak 60-feet above the main roof level.

Kenpat USA was the subcontractor responsible for the exterior metal façades and wall system. Working closely with Kenpat, Firestone engineered and fabricated the façade’s metal panel system. Radius Track Corporation fabricated the curved structural faming and provided the 3-D building information modeling (BIM) to coordinate the connection points for each panel in the building’s parabolic curve. In total, Kenpat installed 42 pre-fabricated structural panelized units as sub-structure for the cladding, with the largest being 36 feet by 10 feet.

The Blue Pearl II color-changing paint captures the revitalization of Port Canaveral. Along with its unique appearance, the finish must withstand Florida’s hurricane wind speeds, unrelenting sun and salt spray. For enhanced durability, Linetec also applied a clear coat over the Blue Pearl II paint.

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