Florida International University is located in Miami, a city that combines glamor with commerce and is situated at the epicenter of a zone of influence that extends into the Carribean and South America. For the new School of Architecture at FIU, Bernard Tschumi Architects focused on the design of communal space as a way to activate the student body and promote discussions and interactions that extend beyond the classrooms and studios. The scheme consists of two sober wings made of a simple structural pre-cast concrete arranged around a central courtyard filled with colorful “generator
s.” These consist of a court of palm trees and two discrete structures that are connected to the rest of the school by walkways at different levels. The structures, covered in bright variegated tiles and twisted slightly to contrast with the rectilinear forms of each wing, contain the public program
s of the building: a reading room, gallery, lecture hall, and a multi-use terrace.