When philanthropist Beverly Koski agreed to fund the bell tower at New College of Florida, she didn’t want a traditional square tower with a clock face and domed top. Instead, they utilized precast concrete to create a unique design. The entire tower is a cool white, where at the base begins a series of steps. At the top of the steps emerge four narrow columns that twist out of the cardinal points of a compass, holding the bell at its center. This design accommodated Koski’s unique vision for the tower, but it wasn’t easy to create. The greatest challenges faced were the shape, the finish, and cost of the project.
The architects chose precast concrete that enabled the team to create the spiraling design while simultaneously cutting the cost of the project dramatically. Ironically the first design, which would have been a very traditional bell tower, cost twice as much as this final design made from architectural precast concrete. Using white cement and aggregates along with totally enclosed connections assured a resilient maintenance-free monument for the school that will stand the test of time.