Architects Work to Help Brevard's Cities Develop Distinctive Styles

Floriday Today - Wayne T. Price

A new Melbourne City Hall will be a prominent building for Brevard County's second largest municipality.

Yet the five story brick, stucco and glass structure isn't meant to be obtrusive or overpowering. The $8.7million building, replacing a crowded, 44 year old city hall on Strawbridge Avenue, is intended to blend into the neighborhood.

"It is important that a building reflect the thought and consideration given by the architect to the surrounding areas, the environment and the integrity of the design, while satisfying the needs of the client," said Dave Nagrodsky, the Melbourne based architect behind the new city hall design.

Across the Space Coast over the last five to ten years, communities and municipalities have become more attuned to building standards and have started thinking more deliberately about how significant structures can affect the architectural fabric - and even the general feel - of an area. Melbourne, Titusville and Viera, for example, all have architectural review boards that sign off on structures' designs to ensure they meet community standards.

And though there has been a good amount of criticism, Palm Bay requires the combination Florida Key West style that includes wide porches, siding, low slung pitched roofs, pastels, and gingerbread trim. The city's policy does have a couple of broad loopholes allowing for new companies to skirt the design guidelines if it means they locate outside Palm Bay.

The end result, local architect and engineering firms say , has been the emergence of distinct styles for communities that mostly involve a combination of Key West or Mediterranean influences with a dash here and there of modern and contemporary architecture.

Cocoa Beach is developing an art deco, South Florida motif. Melbourne is mixed, but with the new city hall, and the planned $35million, six story Crane Creek Medical Center by MAI Design-Build, a strong Mediterranean style is emerging.

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