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Miami-Dade College Kendall Campus
The South Campus of Miami-Dade College (formerly Miami-Dade Community College) is located in Kendall, about fifteen miles south of downtown Miami. The 185-acre site, which was considered remote at the time, was served by two highways and built for a largely commuter student body.
Following the design of the earlier North Campus, architect Hilario Candela constructed what he called “a small city of interconnected geometric masses and urban plazas,” composing the precast concrete buildings around structural systems of towering columns and cantilevers, connected by covered walkways. Vast, grass-covered courtyards between the Brutalist buildings allow students to gather and also provide spaces for exhibitions of their work. In addition to thirteen classroom buildings, the campus also features a wellness center, athletic fields, and an Olympic-sized pool.
As is the case with many commuter schools, the South Campus is surrounded by a ring of parking lots and dotted with parking garages, which have expanded outside Candela’s original idea that a student would only be a short walk from the classroom. But the spirit of community can be felt while walking from car to class; rehearsals in the music department bounce off the concrete walls and echo into the parking lot, nearer the center voices can be heard from the auditorium, and closer still to the inner plaza the noises and smells of the outdoor pool linger.
Read, Gray. “Miami-Dade Junior College South Campus: A Center in the Middle of Nowhere.” In Miami Modern Metropolis: Paradise and Paradox in Midcentury Architecture and Planning, edited by Allan T. Shulman, 250-255. Glendale: Balcony Press, 2009.
Under Construction: Twenty-Five Years of Miami-Dade Community College 1960-1985. Tulsa, OK: Lion and Thorne Publishing, 1988.
Vazquez, Jose. “A Concrete Presence: The Architecture of Miami-Dade College 1960-1970.” A Concrete Presence. Accessed July 24, 2018. http://www.aconcretepresence.com/.
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