Linear water features, comprising wall fountains and low basins, draw the visitor toward a grand staircase that recalls structures of pre-Columbian cultures and acknowledges the largely Latin and Hispanic student body. The stair leads to a terrace on the second level. The circulation between the facilities consists of a double height arcade opening onto the courtyard. The classrooms are organized around the courtyard with breakout rooms fronting onto the arcade. Visitors enter the lobby beneath a portico opening towards the existing College of Business Administration (Ryder Building).
The building starts at two stories in height and spirals around the courtyard to reach approximately three stories at the board room, above the main entrance lobby. The new business school will have two faces: to the exterior, it will be wrapped in a precast concrete panel system with three levels of sandblasting to create texture and pattern. Within the courtyard and in the slivers of spaces between the building bars, borrowing from the Florida vernacular, it holds vividly colored stucco walls. The building is designed to be environmentally site-specific, with window patterns, arcades, and sun screens designed to address the predominantly hot Miami climate. The size of the building (Phase 1) is 91,700gsf and the client is Florida International University (FIU). KPF worked with the associate architects, BEA International.
The building is a 2008 Merit Award winner in the higher education category of The Florida Facilities Planning Association award program.