SCOTTSDALE — So you’re driving along East McDowell Road when suddenly up pops this thing that looks like an oversize sailing vessel, so big that it could hold the Nina, Pinta and Santa Maria and still have room for several yachts. Or maybe, depending upon your imagination, it’s a giant circus tent, large enough to hold a dozen big tops with a full complement of trained elephants.
But it’s actually SkySong, more properly known as Arizona State University’s Innovation Center, a mixed use project that will eventually consist of 1.2 million square feet of office, research, and retail space, plus a hotel and conference center. The big sails are the focal point, rising 125 feet above ground and containing 50,000 square feet of Teflon-coated fiberglass material.
The architects designed it to shade those who work in and visit the facility, and to withstand every type of wind and summer thunderstorm.