Located in Miami, Florida International University (FIU), is one of the country’s largest and most prestigious universities. As an Emerging Preeminent State Research University, FIU attracts high-caliber students from 142 countries in pursuit of innovative solutions to today’s most pressing global issues. Lapis, built by Toll Brothers Campus Living®, provides a luxury, amenity rich, high-rise apartment living experience for students on FIU’s Modesto A. Maidique Campus.
Lapis was planned based on a 36-month build cycle. However, several unforeseen challenges such as the onset of COVID, supply chain disruptions, material shortages, costs tripling in some cases, and turnover with consultants and sub-consultants, expanded the cycle to 72 months. The MCA team was required to seamlessly navigate these hurdles while maintaining high levels of adaptability, communication, and overall quality.
The MCA Solution:
The design team developed a branded identity that resonates with Miami’s Latin influence and diverse cultural vibrancy. Lapis, which is a bright blue natural stone, also means pencil in Spanish making an intentional connection to a rich educational environment. The use of bold blues coupled with an extensive play of pattern throughout the interior are maximized to stimulate intellectual endeavors. Abundant natural lighting, floor-to-ceiling views of campus, and resort-style amenities infuse a feeling of respite and oasis that support Break Away – Lapis’ tagline.
An open grand staircase spells out PANTHERS, the name of FIU’s athletic teams, and bridges two stories that house all of the community’s amenities including a game lounge, state-of-the-art fitness center with outdoor turf area, and an expansive indoor/outdoor area that includes a deck with a Jumbotron, pool, and grilling areas. A large coffee bar placed in the middle of the main amenity space reflects the Latina culture and becomes a popular gathering place at night with its engaging vibe and flexible seating arrangements.
A think tank located on the mezzanine level fosters collaboration along with other small meeting rooms. Inviting pocket spaces and individual carrells serve as private study areas. Blue glass backdrops create aesthetic privacy and sound protection. Walls covered with sound absorbent foam and a pleasing wood veneer provide additional protection.