‘All Buildings Great & Small:’ FIU Infill Housing Exhibit opens to the public


All Buildings Great & Small: New Building Designs for a Better City, an exhibit of projects by FIU Architecture students, will have a public reception at the Coral Gables Museum on Friday, September 5th at 6:00 pm. The exhibition is running from August 29th to October 26th, 2014.

allbuildings_exhibit.001The following statement was written by Jason Chandler, Chair of the FIU Department of Architecture.

“The work of this exhibition affirms the value of small-scale development. In the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, American cities began their urban growth with small urban buildings. Before the high-rise, a fabric of one- to five-story buildings defined city streets. These buildings created lively urban spaces and neighborhoods; they were mixed use and did not have parking, elevators or air conditioning. In the best examples, as these cities grew throughout the twentieth century and into the twenty-first century, high-rises were added to this pre-existing urban fabric to create a complex urbanism that absorbed the demands of modern life, while maintaining the character of the older neighborhood.

Miami is a young city and did not inherit a small-scale, nineteenth and early twentieth century urban fabric. As a result, our high-rises coexist with surface parking lots, ill-defined streets and impoverished public spaces. The work of the architecture students in the Department of Architecture at Florida International University re-conceives small-scale urbanism as a missing component of Miami’s urbanism. This work understands the nature of the modern city as a complex collage of urban types, none of which can solve the concerns of a city on its own.

The focus of the student projects in this exhibition is the discrete infill project within a restricted urban site and its potential repeatability. As a repeatable unit, an urban townhouse becomes an urban proposition, a definer of the street, and the integral component of a neighborhood and city life. The site for this year’s design projects is Wynwood, a new arts district undergoing an urban renewal. In addition to design proposals, students documented existing small-scale buildings in downtown Coral Gables and Wynwood.”

The public opening reception for All Buildings Great & Small: New Building Designs for a Better City will take place on Friday, September 5th, 2014 at 6PM in the Abraham Gallery of the Coral Gables Museum. For information on admission into the museum, click here.

The featured images are provided courtesy of the Coral Gables Museum.

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