DM courtyard closed for next 10 weeks

Stephan Useche/ Asst. News Director

Construction around campus keeps expanding; this time its Deuxieme Maison building’s turn to obtain a few beauty touches and transform. DM is located at the Modesto Madique Campus, next to Primera Casa building and in front of the Graham Center.

“The overall concept had to do with creating what you can call a sanctuary or an environment where you can feel that you can spend some time studying or having conversations, and a place where you can feel somehow protected,” said Roberto Rovira, chair of landscape architecture.

Rovira has been working at the University since 2005 and was involved with the initiative to change up the image of the DM building.

A group of students, faculty, and administrators were brought together to work on a project that was picked by the 2010 FIU Open Space Charrette, which is “a series of competition workshops that looked at the best open spaces on campus to make a big, transformative impact,” according to Sylvia Berenguer, director facilities construction.

The workshop takes place every couple of years and in 2010, it focused on MMC.

“We assembled a team of faculty as well as outside consultant people from various firms from the Miami area, facilities and external relations at FIU and the department of landscape architecture and the department of architecture,” said Rovira.

In total they had 80 students and over 100 consultants.

“The proposal they came up with had to do with introducing a lot of vegetation, a lot of shape structures, and transforming what is now a very hard place into a space that would have a lot more inviting qualities than it currently has,” said Rovira.

There are several components that will decorate DM, and will make it into the sanctuary place Roviro described.

There will be large canapé structures which will be very lightweight, braided stainless steel wire and they create three bell shapes and will hang from the overhead sun break, and will also allow to hang plants form it.

“These plants bloom every year and you can expect a whole variety of colors,” said Roviro.

These air plants are called Tillandsia, which are native to Florida, require no soil and minimum maintenance.

Another component includes the design of the benches and chairs.

“We basically cut a section of the bench and we did the profile so you just can’t lie on it but you can also lean up against it,” said Roviro. “You can sit on the edge and talk to a friend; it’s a design that is very flexible.”

The chair profile will also allow very flexible postures. On the other hand, the benches will have an inward and outward facing, which will have a U shape.

“But of course, the design is also about creating a place where you can go and connect your laptop and you can listen to music,” said Roviro. “It will be a very dramatic transformation from what it is now.”

Construction started on Feb. 3 and it will continue for 10 weeks. SGA and other consultants, according to Roviro, are contributing $200,000- $250,000 to the overall budget.