Florida International University’s School of Architecture Hosts “New City Spirit: Visions for Sweetwater” During Art Basel


Exhibit, sponsored by University Developments,to showcasestudents’ vision for the future of the City of Sweetwater

FIU graduate architecture students will be exhibiting their visions for the future of the City of Sweetwater at the school’s Miami Beach gallery throughout Art Basel this year.

Featuring drawings, models, booklets and 3D printed media, the exhibit,entitled “New City Spirit: Visions for Sweetwater,” will include a selection of projects focused on the reimagining of the neighborhood just north of FIU’s Modesto Maidique campus (MMC), in Sweetwater. The area is presently ripe for renewal and new housing developments are already in process.

A grand opening of the exhibit will be held on Wednesday, December 6th at 7:00 pmwith refreshments at FIU’s Miami Beach Urban Studios – 420 Lincoln Road, Fourth Floor, Miami Beach, FL, and the public is invited to attend. The projects will be on exhibit from Dec. 6th through Dec 13thand can be viewed from 9:00 am to 11:00 pm on the weekdays, and from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm on Saturday.

The exhibition includes both pragmatic and utopian designs, and reflects a young generation’s take on the future of the city. Projects include a linear park along SW 8th Street, a new city hall, and schemes for a new urban vision for the entire area. The frameworks propose structured visions for future development before the area is overtaken by haphazard development.

Student housing, research and innovation spaces, and a unique hybrid of pedestrian, bicycle, and vehicular traffic are integrated in the proposals. The Graduate Design 5 studio is instructed by six professors with nearly 100 students participating.The studio is a collaboration with University Developments,developers of University Bridge Residences -- a premier condominium purpose-built for student tenants located across the street from the MMC campus of FIU – who were involved throughout the semester in reviewing the students’ innovative works.

“Our goal this semester was to stimulate a discussion on how to improve our surrounding neighborhood as FIU continues to grow,” said Cynthia Ottchen, FIU Department of Architecture Professor. “Working in tandem with the City of Sweetwater, our students were challenged to examine how urban rules work to organize a neighborhood and give itdefinition and identity, and how public buildings work in that context.”

“Our mission with University Bridge Residences is to help the city of Sweetwater take the next step in its development,” said Brian Pearl, principal of University Developments. “Our student housing condo project will improve the surrounding community and lifestyle for FIU students, and this course challenges students to use not only their architectural expertise, but their imagination to envision improvement.”

About FIU: Florida International University is classified by Carnegie as a “R1: Doctoral Universities - Highest Research Activity” and recognized as a Carnegie Community Engaged university. It is a public research university with colleges and schools that offerbachelor’s, master’s and doctoral programs in fields such as business, engineering, computer science, international relations, architecture, law and medicine. As one of South Florida’s anchor institutions, FIU contributes almost $9 billion each year to the local economy. The university received honors in all categories of The Chronicle of Higher Education’s “2017 Great Colleges to work for.” FIU graduates are consistently among the highest paid college graduates in Florida and are among the leaders of public and private organizations throughout South Florida. FIU is Worlds Ahead in finding solutions to the most challenging problems of our time. FIU emphasizes research as a major component of its mission withmultiple state-of-the-art research facilities including theWall of Wind Research and Testing Facility, FIU’s Medina Aquarius Program and the Advanced Materials Engineering Research Institute. FIU has awarded more than 220,000 degrees and enrolls more than 54,000 students in two campuses and centers including FIU Downtown on Brickell, FIU@I-75, the Miami Beach Urban Studios, and Tianjin, China. FIU also supports artistic and cultural engagement through its three museums: Patricia & Phillip Frost Art Museum, theWolfsonian-FIU, and theJewish Museum of Florida-FIU. FIU is a member ofConference USA and more than 400 student-athletes participating in 18 sports. For more information about FIU, visithttp://www.fiu.edu/.

About University Developments:

University Developments is a partnership between Global City Development, with headquarters in Miami and over $2 billion in real estate developed in the USA and internationally; Reichmann International, with a worldwide reputation for excellence in large international projects including First Canadian Place (Toronto), World Financial Centre (New York), and Canary Wharf (London); and Podium Developments with over a decade of expertise in student housing and dozens of successful projects completed in the Greater Toronto Area and Southern Ontario, Canada. For more information, please visit www.university-developments.com.

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