In 2017, the University of Central Florida, the largest university in the United States by enrollment, established a new downtown campus in the Creative Village Redevelopment District within Orlando’s historically underserved Parramore neighborhood. RAMSA, in association with Schenkel Schultz Architects was retained to develop a multi-building campus plan and to design the plan’s first phase.
Targeted renovations in the existing two-story home of the Center for Emerging Media, a nationally top-ranked video game design program, and the new 148,000-square-foot Dr. Phillips Academic Commons together constitute the first phase of construction on this new 11-acre campus. The Dr. Phillips Academic Commons establishes an institutional identity for the campus on West Livingston Street. Two cream-colored concrete wings—each with a double-height “collaboratory”— are connected by a glassy bridge that accommodates a computer lab and student tutoring spaces. Classrooms occupy the building’s first two floors while its top two floors accommodate laboratories and faculty offices. The new campus supports an association between UCF and Valencia College, a downtown Orlando community college, offering graduates of the two-year college guaranteed admission to matriculate at the UCF Downtown Campus.