University of Miami Lakeside Village featuring ALPOLIC Timber cladding
University of Miami Lakeside Village featuring ALPOLIC Timber cladding

Dorms Reformed: ALPOLIC MCM Contributes to New Student Living at University of Miami

September 25, 2023

This is student housing design reimagined. The University of Miami completed its new Lakeside Village in July 2020. Nestled in the lush landscape of Coral Gables, the 12-acre, 535,000 square foot student housing complex of Lakeside Village is the first phase of the university’s 10-year strategic plan for improving the living spaces for students and creating a more integrated experience. 

The University of Miami was founded in 1925. A top 50 university known for its research programs, the south Florida institution had a demand for campus housing that exceeded their previously dated and limited dorms. But rather than creating a monolithic structure, architectural firm Arquitectonica had a vision for housing to be more than just a suite of rooms. Working with construction company Moss and Associates, Lakeside Village became a breathtaking collection of 25 interconnected buildings that fostered a sense of community for the 1,115 students at the Coral Gables campus.

A Designed Inspired by Florida's Natural Beauty

At the heart of the design concept was a sense of connection. A striking visual linking with nature, with 60,000 square feet of green roofs, 74,000 square feet of relocated tree canopies, outdoor terraces, rain gardens, lake views and an abundance of natural light. Stringing together the 25 buildings, like jewels on a necklace, Lakeside Village floats along the water and around, in accord with the beauty of the region and setting itself apart, as a wholly contained community for UM students. The flowing nature of the interconnected complex creates a sense of harmony for the student life and the natural beauty of the region.

The design, which features ALPOLIC’s Timber Series metal composite material, marries a sense of modular innovation and natural inspiration. 100,000 square feet of 4mm ALPOLIC®/fr in QBB Teak was fabricated and installed by Cladding Systems, Inc to create a rainscreen system. With green roofs, timber pattern panels, and buildings supported above the ground level with pilots like trunks of a tree, it calls back to nature in a variety of ways. The inspiration for elevating the buildings onto pilots came from nearby Stiltsville structures at Biscayne National Park. More than just an aesthetic nod, this elevation serves the design by creating a canopy for comfortable collaboration, natural breezeways and trails that  take full advantage of the adjacent Like Osceola. 

ALPOLIC Timber MCM cladding Miami student residential building.

ALPOLIC Helps Create A New Standard for Student Housing Design

The mixed-use buildings feature retail, office, classroom and event spaces on the first floor and mezzanine level, with five floors of student housing. Including a 200-seat auditorium, the design encourages congregation in the variety of courtyards, recreational spaces, and outdoor terraces.  Eliminating vehicular traffic, the grounds boost collaboration among the students and their surroundings. UM students will feel a sense of home and community, finding everything they need in this one housing complex.  

The design team was challenged to create an all-inclusive space for students with a focus on sustainability and an eye to the sensitive coastal watershed and hurricane zones of southern Florida. They succeed with an award-winning build that is on its way to LEED Gold certification and is a 2021 recipient of the International Architecture Award by the Chicago Athenaeum: Museum of Architecture and Design and the European Center for Architecture Art Design and Urban Studies, a prestigious global architectural award. ALPOLIC is proud to be featured on what will surely be the new standard for campus housing across the country. 

ALPOLIC Timber MCM cladding Miami student residences; innovative student housing design

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