By Annette Gallagher
Special to UM News
CORAL GABLES, Fla. (February 23, 2015) – Coastal Construction, a major builder in South Florida, has pledged $3.5 million to construct a state-of-the-art design studio building at the University of Miami School of Architecture. The gift will support Momentum2: The Breakthrough Campaign for the University of Miami.
Tom Murphy Jr., president and CEO of Coastal Construction, is passionate about supporting education in architecture and, in fact, got his start while a UM student, working on fraternity houses.
“My family has been building in Florida for over 60 years,” Murphy said. “Learning to design buildings using the latest technology in a collaborative environment is critical to being able to create cities and communities that will last. My family is proud to be able to provide this facility for UM students to learn to build, to create, and to work together.”
The Thomas P. Murphy Design Studio Building will be LEED-certified and include studios to accommodate about 120 students. A fabrication lab and modern workstations, designed to enable advanced digital production, will be included as well. A lounge, computer lab, presentation areas, review spaces, and offices are additional amenities. The building is being designed by world-renowned Miami architecture firm Arquitectonica, by a design team led by School of Architecture adjunct faculty member Raymond Fort and Arquitectonica principal Bernardo Fort-Brescia, who moved to Miami in 1975 to teach at the School of Architecture. The facility will occupy about 20,000 square feet, including outdoor workspace and an outdoor jury area, when completed.
“We are determined to provide our students with state-of-the-art facilities that sustain our traditions and enable innovation,” said Rodolphe el-Khoury, dean of the UM School of Architecture. “I can’t think of a better learning and working environment than the Studio Building—elegantly designed and masterfully engineered to house a field of activities under one sweeping roof —where our talented students can collectively immerse themselves in our studio culture. We are grateful to Tom Murphy and Coastal Construction for enabling us to take that culture to the next level.”