University of Miami President Julio Frenk and School of Architecture Dean Rodolphe el-Khoury will unveil the completed Thomas P. Murphy Design Studio Building during a dedication ceremony. The building is dedicated to Thomas P. Murphy Sr., father of the founder of the construction firm Coastal Construction that built the project.
Designed by renowned firm Arquitectonica, the 20,000-square-foot LEED-certified building is the newest addition to the University of Miami School of Architecture and will serve as a one-of-a-kind design laboratory and collaborative space for the next generation of architects.
The project is the latest manifestation of Arquitectonica’s enduring commitment to its hometown of Miami and the University, as founding principals Bernardo Fort-Brescia and Laurinda Spear, as well as their son Raymond Fort have all served on the school’s faculty.
The new building provides a space that supports and furthers the school’s educational pedagogy. The exposed structure of glass and concrete serves as a teaching tool by illustrating some of the basic tenets of modern architecture, construction and sustainability. Located at the center of an intersection, the building creates a plaza and adjoining pathway that links the campus to the Miami Metrorail.
The building is, in essence, a single, oversized shed, featuring a vaulted roof suspended 18 feet over the floor by narrow steel columns and a few fixed walls. This roof structure provides a sense of openness and enables natural light to permeate the building.
Fully stocked with digital fabrication facilities, exhibition areas, and ample room for social and public functions, the design of the studio spaces synthesizes every aspect of twenty-first-century pedagogy into a cogent whole, packing them into a deceptively simple envelope of thin concrete. The main entrance leads into an informal lobby and continues as a nave-like space that runs through the studios.
The open plan studio space is based on a twenty-five-foot square module that can accommodate a variety of desk configurations ranging from 90 to 130 workstations. The east and west walls of the central volume are clad in felt for students to pin up their work and the nave has movable boards for informal critiques and exhibitions.
Scattered cubes of different materials signify different uses within the open studio space: curtains for the jury areas, glass and panels for seminar and meeting spaces, concrete for the fabrication lab. The design, orientation and strategic elements of the building address the movements of the sun and ensure a sustainable working environment even in the hottest months.
The building can operate during daytime without the use of any artificial light while featuring the first ever use of 18-foot-high hurricane resistant glass panels. The concrete roof warps over the southernmost point of the building to shade the interior from sunlight. Besides affording effective shading over the glazed east and west fronts, the bowed roof also sets up the design’s primary formal swerve.
The curve of the roof interacts with the curve at the entrance demonstrating the plasticity of concrete. These two gestures transform a simple box into dynamic architectural expression, incorporating core modernist principles into a progressive design that will serve as an influence for the next generation of architects. Source by Arquitectonica.
- Location: 1223 Dickinson Drive, Coral Gables, Florida, USA
- Architect: Arquitectonica
- Partners-in-Charge: Bernardo Fort Brescia, Laurinda Spear
- Project Director: Sherri Gutierrez
- Project Manager: Rafael Guissarri
- Project Designer: Raymond Fort
- Architect of Record: Sherri Gutierrez
- Landscape Architect: ArquitectonicaGEO
- Interior Designers: ArquitectonicaINTERIORS and University of Miami Interior Design, Office of the University Architect
- Structural: GMG
- Acoustical: Shen Milsom & Wilke LLC
- MEP/FP: Stantec
- Civil: VSN
- Geotechnical Engineer: NV5
- Specifications: Arquitectonica
- Survey: Atkins
- Sustainability: SUMAC
- General Contractor: Coastal Construction Group
- Construction Manager: Coastal Construction Group
- Client: University of Miami
- Awards: AIA Miami (Miami Chapter of the American Institute of Architects) – Unbuilt Design Award
- Total Square Feet/Site Area: 13,125 SF/28,861 SF
- Year: 2018
- Photographs: Robin Hill, Miami In Focus, Courtesy of Arquitectonica