Mori Hosseini Student Union by ikon5. architects

Ikon.5 Architects,

Brad Feinknopf,


Mori Hosseini Student Union at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, designed by ikon.5 architects, is inspired by the gracefulness of birds in flight, an expression of the university’s mission of teaching the science, practice and business of aviation and aerospace.

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Mori Hosseini Student Union by ikon5. architects
The iconic design of Mori Hosseini Student Union is the fulcrum of the campus of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach, Florida. The new building designed by American studio ikon.5 architects is a hub of student services reflecting Embry-Riddle’s commitment to its students. Managed by the students themselves and open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, the Student Union is a place to study, relax and regenerate. Measuring more than 16 thousand square metres, the building is an aeronautical athenaeum combining spaces for social learning, events, and dining and the University library. A triple-height common area serves as the fulcrum around which the other spaces are arranged, like a town square connected with different neighbourhoods: a little "city within a city". 
ikon.5 architects, winners of the national competition on invitation held by Embry-Riddle University, saw the key challenge as expressing the university’s mission of the study of aviation and aerospace in formal terms, so that the building would become a tangible expression of the love of flight. And so the architects opted for an exuberant architectural design employing all the expressive potential of AESS structural steel to represent motion, flight and aerodynamics both inside and outside the construction. The curved, arched roof not only offers shelter from the intense heat of the Florida sunshine but recalls the sinuous shapes of birds in flight, while the vertical exposed struts have a feather-like quality and serve as structural members reinforcing the roof in the event of hurricanes, frequent in this part of the United States. The exterior is also structurally wrapped by the great double arches supporting the overhanging roof, offering shade and identifying the building’s main entrances. 
Mori Hosseini Student Union contains not only a number of student services but an amphitheatre and an events centre for up to 900 people. On the building’s top floor is the university library, positioned under a dynamic 60 metre skylight which establishes a visual link between the students and the place where they will be working: the sky. The layout also includes a second-floor rooftop terrace with a view over the adjacent runway of Daytona International Airport and beyond to the rocket launch pad at Kennedy Space Center at Cape Canaveral.
ikon.5 architects’s Student Union building transforms the students’ experience on the campus, as the previous facility, which was small and outmoded, could no longer support the growing enrolment and diverse student activities available at the university. The new Mori Hosseini Student Union reinforces the identity and student programmes of this aeronautics university; as Embry-Riddle president Barry Butler comments, "It is an iconic centerpiece to the campus that is recognized as more than an architectural masterpiece […] It is the center of student life on our campus”.

Christiane Bürklein

Project: ikon.5 architects
Location: Daytona, USA
Year: 2020
Images: Brad Feinknopf


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