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Florida International University Stempel Complex, Miami, United States

Wednesday 29 Feb 2012

Architecture for the extreme

Copyright 2012 Perkins+Will 
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Perkins+Will designs new facility for the study of extreme natural events 

The new Stempel Complex at Florida International University, will house various academic and research programs combining to form the Extreme Event Institute. This institute will study and provide data to the US government, NOAA and various International Meteorological Agencies and Institutes on the effect of extreme natural events on people, society and economics.

Conceptually developed from various elements and studies of natural events such as hurricanes, earthquakes and tsunamis, the building is resolved around an oval shaped central courtyard. This will allow for maximum day lighting on all interior spaces, allowing for a maximum flexibility and internal reconfiguration, promote self-shading and enhance building and pedestrian cross circulation. The central courtyard orientates itself to the quad with enhanced connectivity from floating the research labs 2 stories above.

The incremental building footprint offset provides self-shading solar protection along the south and west façades. The east exposure continues the alternating glass and precast concrete rhythm, transforming into large solar shading fins. In following the completed master plan, the Stempel Complex completes the Health Sciences North East corner, successfully connecting to existing buildings via covered walkways and enhances the new 'greenbelt' on the northern edge of the Main Campus.

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