FIU’s new Student Academic Support Center is a multipurpose student support complex designed to promote student interaction, campus engagement and academic success. Created to be a one stop shop for students, the Center provides the university with a facility complete with an attractive new welcome center and an integrated service facility.
The building centralizes many different administrative departments at FIU that have become disconnected and scattered throughout campus over the evolution of University growth. Major program components include administrative offices for enrollment, student financial services, career services, honor college, graduate and international studies. In addition, the complex includes a new Welcome Center, flexible scale-up classrooms, and office space. A centralized “One-Stop” hub, allows students a place to “check-in” and be directed (privately) to their destination with in the building.
Housing so many different departments required a solution that would enhance the sense of connection and collaboration on many levels. To achieve this, the building is organized as an extension of a major campus pathway, creating connectivity between interior and exterior and legibility for the first-time visitor. A central open atrium space offers a unifying element, which provides visual access between offices and fosters an overall sense of community. The exterior skin is inspired by the natural features found on campus such as water and vegetation, particularly the palm frond, with precast concrete panels angled to shade the interior from direct sun.