Florida International University, Stempel Complex Planning
As part of the FIU Master Plan completed by Perkins+Will, the site design for the Stempel Complex connects a cluster of new classrooms and labs with a series of complementary outdoor spaces. The site design engages the adjacent quad and connects access points across campus, while creating the transition from public stage to smaller, private spaces.
Following the contours of the architecture, the courtyard’s modern, elliptical shape also references an ancient form in the local terrain. The Everglades’ tree hammocks, an ecological phenomenon in which wind and water form streamlined “tree islands,” offers a compelling and distinctive motif for this campus setting. These naturally occurring shelters support both human culture and bio-diversity, just as the Stempel Complex provides a uniquely functional outdoor retreat for students and visitors. With moveable benches and lighted cubes for seating, courtyard users can compose their own social space or a quiet, secluded respite from the South Florida heat.
With a modern palette of sculpted concrete and crushed slate, linear pavers, blue terrazzo, warm wood, and native plantings, the resulting complex builds off the rhythms and ideas of the master plan, while creating an entirely new campus landmark.