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Press Release for Thursday, March 8, 2012

UNF Student Union Nominated Top 100 Building in Florida Architecture

Media Contact: Joanna Norris, Associate Director 

Department of Public Relations 

(904) 620-2102 




The University of North Florida’s Student Union was recently nominated as one of Florida’s Top 100 buildings in the “Florida Architecture: 100 Years. 100 Places” competition, which was designed to identify and commemorate 100 buildings and places that represent the best Florida architecture has to offer.  


The UNF Student Union is among 17 buildings in Jacksonville that have been selected for this recognition by the Florida Chapter of the American Institute of Architects, which is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year. 


“It’s an honor for UNF to have one of its buildings recognized by the American Institute of America as one of the Top 100 buildings that have beneficially added to the unique architectural fabric of Jacksonville and Northeast Florida,” said Zak Ovadia, director of UNF Campus Planning, Design and Construction. 


The Jacksonville community can help make the UNF Student Union the No. 1 building in the state by casting your vote as many times as you like at . Voting opens to the public Tuesday, March 13, and runs through Friday, April 6. The survey will ask users whether they are an architect or not, which will allow AIA Florida to create two Top 100 lists—one list selected by the general public and one selected by architects. 


Designed by Rink Design Partnership Inc., the 150,000-square-foot Student Union was completed in 2009. The $40.1 million facility was programmed to be the focal points for student activities and programs, dining facilities and offices for Student Government as well as the Division of Student and International Affairs.  

The Student Union is in two parts separated by a student plaza, called Osprey Plaza, with a sunshade feature, which along with the curvature of the 

building, creates a most distinctive visual effect. Both buildings are three stories and are 

comprised of a steel structure with brick and metal cladding.    


The east building is mostly administrative and houses all Student Government functions, Student and International Affairs offices, a bank, a Starbucks and snack store, the game room and studios for Osprey Radio and Osprey TV. The west building contains a food court with five fast-food outlets on the main floor, the UNF Bookstore (two stories), the Boathouse restaurant and various meeting rooms on the second level, four ballrooms on the third level along with numerous student lounges and meeting rooms of various capacities. 


One of the most unique elements of the Student Union is a 108,000 square-foot grass amphitheater with a permanent stage. Located behind the west building, the amphitheater, which can seat 6,000 spectators, is constructed with a nine-degree elevation for optimum viewing by crowds attending concerts, performances, fairs and other events. 


The Student Union follows the University’s other new buildings on campus as a certified “green” building, meaning it uses energy-saving measures, recycled materials and natural light to improve the work environment.