Not Ellis Island

When Rodolfo Acevedo arrived in Florida from his native Argentina, the immigration offices where he waited with his paperwork struck him as neither functional nor friendly. Not much has improved since then, but now Acevedo’s Boca Raton-based architecture firm is creating four new buildings that should make the immigration ordeal more esthetically pleasing. When they open next summer, the new South Florida facilities will feature big, comfortable waiting areas with natural light and green design elements like roofs that will reflect rather than absorb the sun. Inside will be playgrounds for kids, Internet cafés and entry rotundas modeled on the U.S. Capitol and boasting eight-meter-tall etchings of the Statue of Liberty on glass walls. Welcome, indeed.