Students Design Luxury Hostel Project in Miami Freedom Tower


Students from the Graduate Design 1 studio are currently working on designing a luxury hostel. They are working within a hypothetical scenario in which the students partner with renowned entrepreneur, hotelier, and real estate developer Ian Schrager, Generator Hostels, and the Miami-Dade College facility at the Freedom Tower to complete their designs. The project expands upon Schrager’s concepts of a “public” hotel, targets international students, maintains a museum component, and focuses on green, environmentally-conscious design.

As they work on the project, students are considering the historic preservation of the Freedom Tower, possibilities of adaptive reuse, client characteristics, the identities of potential hostel guests, concepts of design backed by research, and the hostel’s branding. They are focusing on two facets of the project’s design: Phase I, which involves two ADA guestrooms, a typical corridor, a lounge, and a rooftop garden, and Phase II, which involves the lobby and reception area, café, retail experience, and common area and lounge.

The Graduate Design 1 students will be following the guidelines for the 2014-2015 NEWH Sustainable Design Competition, and the best projects from each section of the studio will be selected by a panel of design professionals and faculty for submission to the competition. Winners of the NEWH competition will be awarded $5,000 and paid travel and lodging for the HD Expo 2015 in Las Vegas, where they will be honored for their work.

The Graduate Design 1 studio is taught by Marcia Lopes de Mello (Adjunct Faculty) and Katie Rothfield (Instructor).

This article was written with the help of the Graduate Design 1 faculty.

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