With over 50,000 students (50,394 as of Fall 2012, to be exact), Florida International University is not just “Miami’s Public Research University,” but now also Florida’s second-largest university and America’s seventh-largest university. This is not your parents’ FIU. What started in the 1960s as a small university with four buildings in the city’s periphery in western Miami, is now a major research university, and it’s building like crazy to accommodate for years of continued growth.
Buildings under construction at FIU:
- Science Classroom Complex- 6 story building of science auditoriums, classrooms and laboratories. Completion date: February 2013, Architects: Perkins + Will
- Satellite Chiller Plant- Boring, but hey, who doesn’t want some air conditioning? Completion date: May 2013, Architects: SGM
- Parkview Hall- Two 6-story residence halls for 620 undergraduate students. This housing complex is adjacent to FIU Stadium and includes an awesome public plaza in front of the stadium. Perfect for football tailgating! A second phase of this project would add an additional 620 beds in 2015. Completion date: July 2013, Architects: HKS HADP
- College of Business Building III (MANGO)- 6-story building of classrooms and offices for the College of Business Administration. Completion date: July 2013, Architects: HOK
- Stocker AstroScience Center- Astronomy observatory tower. Completion date: August 2013, Architect: Saddiq Khan
- School of Architecture Environmental Structures and Technology Lab- Structural systems and materials testing facilities for Architecture students. Completion date: August 2013
- Academic Health Center V- 5-story building of science and research laboratories for the Stempel College of Public Work and Social Work. Includes research labs for the Earth and Environment Department for research on natural disasters. Completion date: January 2014, Architects: Perkins + Will
- Ambulatory Care Clinic- Public clinic for the FIU Medical School, Nursing and Miami-Dade County Health Department. Completion date: May 2014, Architects: AECOM
- Student Academic Support Center- Office for student support- financial aid, bursars, admissions, advising, etc. Completion date: December 2014, Architect: Gould Evans
What’s nice about FIU’s architecture is that every building is unique. In an architect’s perspective, this allows maximum opportunities to design a building that is more unique. Many American universities, especially older ones with a prescribed “historic” architectural style, usually Collegiate Gothic, constrain architects to build future buildings to that same style, replicating the look of the campus circa 1850. At FIU, where the oldest buildings have a 1960s Brutalist architectural style, there is no prescribed style, so every building on campus is a completely different experience from the one next to it. It makes for walking to class all the more interesting. Not to mention finding the right building for class is a lot easier (“that classroom is over in the building with the multicolored tiles on the wall and the weird columns sticking out”).
Science Classroom Complex:
Stocker AstroScience Center:
School of Architecture Environmental Structures and Technology Lab: