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Thomas P. Murphy Design Studio Building

Thomas P. Murphy Design Studio Building

Coral Gables

Built in 2018.

Designed by Arquitectonica.

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The Thomas P. Murphy Design Studio Building has been innovative in its design and transformative in impacting the immersive learning experience at University of Miami School of Architecture. In the planning stages, Arquiteconica was charged with designing an open plan building that would both foster community and provide the necessary studio classroom space for faculty and students. The outcome far exceeds the original brief. The building is a collaborative learning laboratory where the building behaves much like a professor or faculty by inspiring and teaching within the walls. Low-slung curved cantilever eves allow for a protected exterior terrace to morph from a classroom, to a final review jury, to a new parent orientation reception, or a space for a large-scale model assembly. On the interior, non-structural walls float freely and allow the 25’ grid steel columns’ clear structural expression with an open, flexible floor plan. The space is easily-transformed between studio classrooms, discussion seminars, juried critiques, mid-size lectures, UM Trustee meetings, faculty offices, event receptions and Magic Leap augmented reality exhibitions. The glass walls allow for creation of an “architectural stage” visible to passersby, admired by university students, employees, parents and inquisitive campus visitors. The Thomas P. Murphy Design Studio Building enables first and second-year students to share a learning space with upper level and graduate students, fostering a great sense of camaraderie and community. Mentorship among students has been organically forged, in this communal laboratory. What was once a single-studio culture between 12 students, has been transformed into one that welcomes 120. The 24/7 collaborative learning environment is now a reality.

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