Morningside Recreation Complex Opens

By | Construction, Uncategorized | No Comments

Earlier this month the City of Clearwater opened the doors to the newly completed Morningside Recreation Center Designed by WJA. The new 20,998 sf facility houses an athletic gymnasium, fitness center, locker rooms, offices and a large dividable multi-purpose room. The new recreation center was built adjacent to the existing community pool and shares locker rooms and offices for administrative staff.

To learn more about the programs offered and operations hours for Morningside Recreation Center visit the City of Clearwater’s website.

New era for St. Petersburg College

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The storied and growing St. Petersburg College has selected a team of LEMA ConstructionPerkins + Will, and Wannemacher Jensen Architects (WJA) to design and build a new $25-million flagship building at their St. Petersburg/Gibbs Campus, to be known as the “Student Success Center.”

“We appreciate the student-centric, forward-focused approach of St. Petersburg College,” said WJA’s Jason Jensen. “We’re thrilled to contribute toward such a progressive education vision.”

Completion is planned for fall 2018. Information at:

Information about St. Petersburg College at:


Pier Upland Project

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The St. Petersburg Pier District will create new experiences between St. Pete’s vibrant downtown and its expansive waterfront park system, the St. Pete Pier, and Tampa Bay

Wannemacher Jensen and partner New York-based W Architecture & Landscape Architecture are in the process of developing designs for the St. Petersburg Pier “Approach” (also known as the Uplands project, or the Pier District).

The Pier Approach connects the downtown core to the new St. Petersburg Pier with an active and seamless art-lined pedestrian promenade, offering flexible event space, waterfront dining, market venues and more. A proposed shaded pedestrian promenade will provide both access to the pier and a venue for pop-up tents.

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The St. Petersburg waterfront park system is the third largest in North America, encompassing 34 acres of city waterfront. The project will repurpose Beach Drive from the Vinoy Hotel to Pioneer Park, with walkable streets and an Anchor art piece centered in a Grand Pier Approach entry.

The approach will include a wide array of circulation options including the downtown looper trolley, the beach trolley, the ferry, and wide/consistent waterfront pathways. Construction is planned to start September 2017 with completion in September 2018.

Learn More:
New St. Pete Pier Updates
Pier Approach Presentation
Bay News 9 Coverage
Pier Approval


The James Museum coming soon

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Culminating from years of planning, Tom James (Executive Chairman of one of St. Petersburg’s largest and well known publicly traded companies) announced plans about the anticipated $55-million Tom & Mary James Museum of Western & Wildlife Art  – opening in 2017.

Wannemacher Jensen is proud to collaborate with Yann Weymouth and Harvard Jolly on this important and generous cultural contribution from Mr. and Mrs. James, to St. Pete’s residents and visitors for generations.

More than five hundred pieces of artwork are coming from the Tom & Mary James/Raymond James Art Collection. The James Museum will encompass the first two floors of downtown St. Pete’s 100 Central Avenue building, covering more than 133,000 square feet of museum space alongside mixed-use, public and retail space – a theater, a cafe, and community event space.


Mr. James has long supported the prominent and ever-evolving St. Pete arts scene in many ways, including serving as president for the Dali Museum Board of Trustees.

The James is one in a game-changing series of downtown Saint Petersburg renovations and developments in the works, such as the “One” complex across the street, the Central Avenue 400 block, the American Arts and Crafts Movement Museum on the other side of downtown, and the Pier District.

Much more:

James Museum website

Tampa Bay Times

Tampa Bay Business Journal

83 Degrees



St. Pete Free Clinic expands capacity, capabilities

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St. Petersburg Free Clinic’s new Virginia and David Baldwin Women’s Residence is now open in downtown St. Petersburg. The new building has substantially increased the Free Clinic’s capacity, now allowing the nonprofit to assist nearly 150 women transition to self-sufficiency each year.

The Women’s Residence provides a safe place for women to live while they develop skills necessary for independent living. Designed by WJA, the new Women’s Residence includes a large commercial kitchen with teaching areas to share healthy cooking techniques, an open dining area to foster a sense of community, and training rooms to help with job-seeking and other life skills.

Open since 1989, the St. Pete Free Clinic receives about 1,800 inquires annually.

Read more about the new facility at SaintPetersBlog and TampaBayNewswire.



Madeira Beach celebrates City Centre grand opening

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City of Madeira Beach (October 15, 2015) — The new waterside complex houses city hall, the council chambers and the fire station. The complex is also home to ball fields, biking, running and walking paths, parkland, a memorial garden and more. A permanent stage and concert area was also included in the design.

The complex’s master plan was designed by Wannemacher Jensen.

Wannemacher’s Jason Jensen said the experience was “an incredible opportunity to weave together large multi-use public space with core civic activity. Highly functional municipal structures blend with parkland and recreation to form a community complex that fosters new relationships between public space and public service.”

Read more about the new facility here or here.

WJA’s team selected to design St. Petersburg waterfront project

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ST. PETERSBURG — Two architectural firms that lost a bid to design the city’s new pier have won the $20 million project that will link the waterfront landmark to the booming downtown.

The team of W Architecture and Landscape Architecture of New York and St. Petersburg’s Wannemacher Jensen beat out four others vying to design what is envisioned as a sweeping gateway to complement the new pier.

The Pier Approach Project, as it is being called, will encompass areas of Bayshore Boulevard and Beach Drive and is expected to include elements such as a grand entry, pedestrian art promenade, an art bridge, an open-air market and two restaurants.

“I’m ecstatic to help make a better community and to have a role in the final, visible outcome,” Jensen said Friday.

Read more at the Tampa Bay Times here.

New Recreational Complex Coming to the City of Doral

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A new recreational complex which will provide the city of Doral with a 35,000 sf recreational building, community park, and sports recreation facilities. Community gardens, playgrounds, a large splash pad, civic lawn, band shell, shelters and a nature walk are among the many components that will provide the community with a safe and active environment for all ages.

The park, which is divided into two unequal areas by a city street, is one of the site’s most challenging conditions. A covered pedestrian bridge was designed as an active and passive strategy to take advantage of this potential issue. The bridge extends from the recreational building and provides a safe passage above a busy city avenue. It also doubles as a city gateway that defines the northern boundary of the city.


Kids at two pinellas Schools kick of year in newly renovated facilities

By | Construction, Education, Renovation | No Comments

St. PETERSBURG, Fla. (August 24, 2015) – Wannemacher Jensen Architects (WJA) brought two major school renovation projects to a close in time for the back-to-school kick-off this week.

At 2100 26th Avenue South, in what many regard as underserved neighborhoods of St. Petersburg, kids are stepping into the newly renovated Lake Maggiore YMCA Preschool Academy this week. A $2.3 million-dollar project, the academy will serve 120 students.

The facility houses eight oversized classrooms, a full-service teaching kitchen and a community garden available to nearby families. In addition to each room being outfitted with 21st century technology, connectivity and smart boards, WJA specifically designed the space with flexibility in mind because the rooms will double as adult learning areas for financial workshops, parenting courses and wellness classes.

Meanwhile up the street in Clearwater at St. Paul’s School, WJA transformed a 16,000 square feet existing structure that accommodates 150 students into a personalized learning community. Focusing on an open and flexible learning space, WJA consulted with and incorporated education design principles by Fielding Nair. The new design created a reoriented entry from the exterior courtyard, removed partitions, and opened interior and exterior views to increase interaction between students and staff; and to encourage the use of outdoor learning spaces.

“Our goal is to create environments that translate a vision and reflect a community. Delivering on basic structural and technology needs is of course important, and by focusing on holistic environments, we’re designing places where it’s safe and fun to learn. We want kids dragging mom or dad to school instead of pleading with kids to get them here each morning,” said architect (and parent) Jason Jensen.



Bay News 9: New St. Pete Business Aims to Send People Up the Wall

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Named one of the top 10 coolest climbing Gyms in the world. The interior of an existing warehouse was transformed into a world-class climbing facility complete with three types of climbing and over 100 routes. Storage units were used for support spaces and an additional story was dug underground to provide 30+ foot walls.

Read More HERE at Bay News 9 or HERE at the Tampa Tribune.

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