UM
Pictured are Tom Murphy Jr., chair and CEO of Coastal Construction, (left) with Julio Frenk, University of Miami president.

Miami-based Coastal Construction has announced that the University of Miami’s School of Architecture’s Thomas P. Murphy Design Studio Building has been named the 2018 U.S. Building of the Year on American- Architects, a news platform published by World-Architects.

The Building of the Year poll on American-Architects took place during the month of January and featured 43 Building of the Week reviews from around the country in 2018. More than 4,000 votes were received with the Thomas P. Murphy Design Studio Building winning by a large margin, with 38 percent of the votes.

Designed by Arquitectonica and built by Coastal Construction, the Thomas P. Murphy Design Studio Building was named by Tom Murphy Jr., president and CEO of Coastal Construction Group, in memory of his father, Thomas P. Murphy, a painting contractor and builder in South Florida for more than 30 years.

“My father was my mentor and best friend. He taught me the importance of family and the values I have are a result of watching him lead by example,” Tom Murphy Jr. said. “This year I am celebrating my 50th year in business and I can’t think of a more fitting tribute than to see this building, named in his honor, recognized as the 2018 U.S. Building of the Year.”

Hailed for its “rectilinear” design and “18-foot tall, hurricane-proof glass walls that provide plenty of natural light for the studio spaces, the concrete and glass structure features exposed mechanical and electrical interior elements that serve students with an enhanced learning experience through their interaction with the space

The 20,000-square-foot state-of-the-art facility serves up to 130 students and includes a modern fabrications lab and workstations, presentation areas, and facility offices. With a large, open floor plan, the facility is designed to fuel innovation and drive creativity featuring exposed concrete walls and ceilings, and oversized floor to ceiling glass panels (18 feet high by 4 feet wide) that required a special one-time product approval because it had not previously been done in South Florida.

Completed in November 2018 and located on UM’s Coral Gables campus and part of the U-SoA complex, the Thomas P. Murphy Design Studio’s design, orientation and strategic features were carefully constructed with consideration to the movements of the sun ensuring a sustainable work environment even in Miami’s hottest months.

“The enthusiastic reception worldwide is a great validation of the tremendous effort and care invested by all in the project — the university, donors, architects, and builders,” said Rodolphe “Rudy” el-Khoury, dean of the School of Architecture. “We were thrilled to see the building on the list of 43 nominees; to learn now that it actually won the highest distinction of ‘Building of the Year’ is just amazing. It says loud and clear that at the ‘U,’ we are doing it right.”

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