Language of Life

A Q&A with one of the minds behind Lake Nona’s new DNA parking garage

April 27, 2021

There’s more than one building with a wave-like design feature coming to life in Lake Nona Town Center. And while one may give away its namesake, like The Lake Nona Wave Hotel, at first glance, the other is more subtle.

We’re talking about Lake Nona Town Center’s newest place to park: the DNA garage. Brightly adorned with color-coded vertical bars in the shape of a double helix or wave, the new garage brings the DNA sequence of a Valencia orange to life along its exterior. The DNA garage will service a new office building (pictured below with the blue exterior) in addition to offering overflow parking for the Lake Nona Performance Club opening this summer.

And while this colorful new addition is certainly unique, the DNA garage also shares similarities to the main Town Center parking garage known for the Beacon and Code Wall art installations. Aside from the same layout and function, the two four-story parking garages also share a unique design theme of coded language.

“We started with binary code on our first parking garage where we explored the language of computers. Now, we’re exploring the language of life with the DNA garage,” said Juan Santos, Senior Vice President of Innovation and Brand Experience at Tavistock Development Company, Lake Nona’s developer.

In this Q&A, Santos tells us more about the color-coded DNA sequence, why they chose the Valencia orange, and what language might inspire the next garage design in Lake Nona.

Q. What inspired the language design theme? Tell us more about the color-coded DNA sequence.

When we were thinking about the design for our next parking garage, we started talking about other coded languages and landed on the language of life – DNA.

The structure of DNA features two strands that form a double helix connected by four nucleotides, or bases, that hold the two strands together. The bars on the DNA garage represent those four bases and are color-coded to complement Lake Nona’s palate of reds, blues, purples and greens.

Each vertical bar has a different length and protrudes from the building at varying measurements to form a shape that gives it the visual effect of a wave.  

Q. Why a Valencia orange?

The Valencia orange is a hybrid of a mandarin and a pomelo first created in California. They were redeveloped in Florida where they do well in our natural environment similar to the tropical regions of Asia where oranges originate. An orange is our state fruit, so we thought it was a great way to tie the concept back to our Florida roots.

We commissioned an original painting of an orange tree by Jennyfer Mancino, a local female artist known for her beautiful paintings of plants, florals, and other foliage.

Her original artwork will hang in a building in the Lake Nona Town Center while an oversized reproduction will be reimagined on a tile mosaic similar to the technique we used at Canvas in Laureate Park. The mosaic will be installed along the base of the DNA garage’s main staircase. The accompanying planter bed will be accented with fragrant low lying jasmine to evoke the sweet scent of bygone orange blossoms.

Q. What’s planned for the next parking garages?

We’ll continue our theme of celebrating languages. We have a few ideas in the works and look forward to creating another beautiful piece that will complement Lake Nona’s rich public art program.

Lake Nona is packed with colorful and functional art installations. Find more in this roundup of Lake Nona’s most Instagram-worthy locations. And don’t forget to tag @LearnLakeNona in your next post for a chance to be featured on our channels!

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