We are pleased to present our submission for the University of Miami’s Student Housing Master Plan, Phase 1 design competition. The project is approximately 500,000 GSF, and provides 1,100 new bedrooms to campus. Although not the winning scheme of the competition, this unbuilt project posits an alluring architectural outlook for the future of student housing.
The forward-thinking design transforms preconceived notions of dormitory life on a major university campus. By providing meaningful spaces that foster the relationship of living and learning, the scheme infuses a diverse blend of space types into a cohesive, iconic congregation of buildings.
With the understanding that much learning in college happens outside the classroom, student housing becomes a key instrument in the growth and dissemination of knowledge. In response, the design offers multiple scales of social environments, from a single student room to the university campus at large. The building block for these social scales is the “home.” Each three-story home is composed of private and semi-private program elements juxtaposed to create close-knit communities within the residential college at large.
The rise of web-based learning and instinct to text rather than talk have only increased the need for face-to-face communication and chance encounter. The “home” encourages residents to interact, collaborate, and develop relationships with their neighbors. As the building block of the home begins to stack into larger groupings, it creates meaningful adjacencies, provides shade for terraces, and establishes larger scales of sociability.
Lifted from the ground, the building allows the university’s tropical garden and its students to pass underneath with a minimal building footprint. The ground level hosts a variety of public program spaces for teaching, study, exhibition, retail, makers, and think-tanks to engage and activate the broader campus culture.
The site allows the building to engage the nearby architecture school, direct pedestrian flow from public transit, screen adjacent parking, and create an urban street within the campus. The project also preserves the precious little remaining green space along Lake Osceola.
Read more about CO Architects’ submission for the University of Miami Student Housing competition at Architect Magazine.