Tag Archive | "school of architecture"


Students Document City’s Great Spaces

Merrick Elevation of Door

Students are documenting elements of the city of Coral Gables’s great spaces, including the front door of founder George Merrick’s house.

School of Architecture lecturers Steven Fett and Edgar Sarli have been awarded a City of Coral Gables Cultural Grant for the publication and traveling exhibition of  drawings and research of city’s architecture, titled “Drawing and Place.” Directed by Teofilo Victoria, Jorge Hernandez, and Adib Cure, the students enrolled in ARC 101, ARC 111, and ARC 121 have been, for the past four years, thoroughly documenting the great public spaces within the city of Coral Gables in the manner comparable to those included in the Manuale del Recupero del Comune di Roma.

The Rome drawings diligently analyze the nature and evolution of the constructive elements found in the traditional buildings of the city. Architectural elements such as walls, roofs, stairs, vaults, fixtures, and ornaments are rigorously documented and drawn, constituting a complete guide to be used in the work of maintenance and restoration of historic buildings. So too, UM students set out to record elements of the greatest public spaces in Coral Gables. Locations include the Granada Plaza, the loggia of the Biltmore Hotel, the Coral Gables Merrick House, the Books & Books courtyard, and City Hall’s covered loggia.

The documentation process has yielded scaled field sketches on graph paper, pencil on velum hand-drafted drawings, and computer generated ink on mylar prints. The exhibition is scheduled for Fall 2016.

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School of Architecture Breaks Ground on Design Studio that Promises to ‘Fuel Innovation’


School of Architecture Breaks Ground on Design Studio that Promises to ‘Fuel Innovation’

By Robert C. Jones Jr.
UM News

Murphy Studio Rendering

The 20,000-square-foot Thomas P. Murphy Design Studio Building will accommodate more than 120 students and will feature a fabrication lab and workstations that enable advanced digital production.

CORAL GABLES, Fla. (October 22, 2015) – It was only a few months ago that Thomas P. Murphy got the kind of phone call one never forgets. Bernardo Fort-Brescia, founding principal of one of the world’s largest architectural firms, was on the line, trying to sell Murphy on the idea of supporting the construction of a new design studio building for the University of Miami’s School of Architecture.

Fort-Brescia told Murphy about all the bright, talented students who were enrolling at UM to study architecture, but that the school lacked the kind of large studio that would allow them to see and collaborate with their classmates. Read the full story

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Professor Helps Place Cuban Churches on Watch List


Professor Helps Place Cuban Churches on Watch List

By Bárbara Gutiérrez 
UM News


La Iglesia de Nuestra Señora del Carmen is among the dozen churches of Santiago de Cuba on the World Monuments Watch List. Photo by Carlos Domenech.

CORAL GABLES, Fla. (October 15, 2015)—When the World Monuments Fund (WMF) added the Colonial Churches of Santiago de Cuba to its World Monuments Watch List last Thursday, it recognized that the historic structures are worth preserving for posterity. In large part that designation was gained with the help of University of Miami Architecture Professor Jorge L. Hernández.

For the past two years, Hernández, who has done extensive work in preservation in his academic and professional engagement, has been working with the Archbishop of Santiago, Monsenior Dionisio Garcia Ibañez, as an advisor and advocate to help restore a dozen churches, which include the Cathedral of Santiago, built in 1515.

Other churches include Las Iglesias de Nuestra Señora del Carmen, Cristo de la Salud, and Santo Cristo. Hernández was the proponent of nominating the ensemble of eight urban and four provincial churches from Oriente for the special distinction, which could help garner much needed funding.

“Beginning in the early 1500s these 12 churches and their plazas formed the skeleton of an urban and territorial infrastructure which has served as the social, cultural, and religious vessel for the rich history of this city, region, and nation. They are treasures,” said Hernández. “Since they are now part of the World Monuments’ Watch List, the spectrum of their value is elevated to an international audience. It will be easier to raise awareness of their uniqueness and in turn raise funds to restore them and bring them back to their former glory.”

Every two years, WMF accepts nominations for sites in need of international awareness. For many historic sites, inclusion on the Watch List provides an opportunity to raise public awareness, foster local participation in preservation, leverage resources for conservation, advance innovation and collaboration, and demonstrate effective solutions for global stewardship.

In its news release announcing this year’s Watch List, the WMF said, “The Twelve of Santiago de Cuba’s historic churches—the vessels for the social, cultural, and religious life of the city for centuries—have suffered from the impact of natural disasters and are currently in need of preservation.WMF was launched in 1996 with support from founding sponsor American Express to call international attention to cultural heritage around the globe threatened by the forces of nature or the impact of social, political, and economic change.”

For a complete list of historic structures on this year’s World Monuments Watch, see the 2016 Watch Sites at a glance.



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Students Awarded Scholarships from The Villagers


Students Awarded Scholarships from The Villagers

Three University of Miami School of Architecture students–senior Daniel Clavijo, junior Jessica Stefanick, and sophomore Hitomi Maeno—have been awarded scholarships by The Villagers, a local group dedicated to restoration and preservation in the Greater Miami area.

Clavijo, a graduating senior who is receiving the award for the second time, said he was very grateful. “Preservation is important to me because we should leave nature, and the built environment, in a better state than we found it,” he said. Clavijo and Maeno each received a $4,000 scholarship and Stefanick received $3,000.

The Villagers recently awarded more than $20,000 for college scholarships to deserving students in Miami-Dade County with an interest in architectural historic preservation and restoration. Seven students were selected from the field of applicants based on scholastic standing, recommendations, and samples of their work as well as a statement of interest in preserving architectural past.

The Villagers, Inc., is a local non-profit organization dedicated to the restoration and preservation of historic sites in Greater Miami. The association originated with the efforts of a group of citizens who came together in 1966 to work to save the Douglas Entrance, one of George Merrick’s original public projects in Coral Gables. The Villagers has supported the University of Miami School of Architecture since 1985 and, to date, has given more than $142,100 to UM students.

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UM Showcases Innovations at eMerge Americas Conference

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UM Showcases Innovations at eMerge Americas Conference

By Andres Tamayo
UM News


As conferees learned, the arms of the Da Vinci Xi robot can pick up small objects–and perform precise surgeries.

MIAMI, Fla. (May 5, 2015)—Victor Cruz, a computer engineer with Goverlan, Inc., sat with his head down and eyes focused in a 3-D simulator for the da Vinci Xi surgical robot at the Miami Beach Convention Center last Monday.

Gina Avellan, a representative for the robot, stood to his right, facing a crowd that had gathered to watch one of many simulated surgeries throughout the day. “Now, with your left hand, grab the rubber ring and place it here,” she said as she circled a ring on a raised screen for the group of visitors to see. “Good,” she exclaimed as Cruz impressively completed the task.

The Xi robot, a four-armed behemoth developed to help surgeons perform precise surgeries, is currently being used by UM surgeons and is one of the University’s most prized possessions.

“It’s mind-blowing,” Cruz said as he paused from the excitement of completing his first surgery. “It’s mind-blowing how natural the movements are. I would have never thought that a robot’s motion would be that natural.”

Xi, as it is commonly called, was one of many innovations that UM showcased at the second annual eMerge Americas technology conference May 1-5.

UM also displayed state-of-the-art work being conducted at the School of Architecture, the Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science, and the Center for Computational Science (CCS) with the Office of Civic and Community Engagement. The School of Architecture featured an interactive social media coffee table that attracted tweets and Instagram posts based on certain hashtags embedded in coffee cups.

The Rosenstiel School boasted a fish tank full of mahi-mahi fry while the School of Business Administration showcased entrepreneurship and The Launch Pad, an on-campus accelerator that offers advice to UM students and alumni looking to start their own companies. The Office of Civic and Community Engagement and CCS demonstrated the Miami Affordability Project (MAP)—showing off a drone used for mapping cities in need of new infrastructure—for Julian Castro, secretary of Housing and Urban Development, and JPMorgan Chase representatives. Chase is the lead funder of MAP, a free, publicly accessible tool developed by the Office of Civic and Community Engagement to visualize neighborhood-level housing market dynamics and develop data-driven community development strategies.

The conference, which aims to make Miami the technology hub of the Americas, was expected to attract 10,000 local, national, and international visitors over the five days. It is quickly becoming a showcase for businesses, higher education institutions, and others wanting to explain and explore the latest trends occurring in the technology and health sectors.

Various UM officials and faculty spoke during breakout sessions on May 4, including Provost Thomas J. LeBlanc; Architecture Dean Rodolphe el-Khoury; Eugene Anderson, dean of the School of Business Administration; and Norma Kenyon, chief innovation officer at the Miller School of Medicine. They spoke about the challenges Miami faces to attract and keep entrepreneurial talent in South Florida.

“We need to help our students learn to be entrepreneurs, and you can’t do that without creating a culture of entrepreneurship,” LeBlanc said.

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