Students Criticize Arquitectonica’s Design For New School Of Architecture Building: ‘Looks Like A Bunker’

Arquitectonica’s plan for a new 20,000-square-foot design studio building at the University of Miami’s School of Architecture is drawing criticism from students there.

An article in The Miami Hurricane quotes several students who are dissatisfied with Arquitectonica’s design.

Alex Underwood, a first-year architecture student, told the paper that the new studio ‘almost looks like a bunker.’ The concrete design ‘just doesn’t look inviting,’ he said, and is inconsistent with other buildings on campus.

Another first-year architecture student, Max Erickson, expressed disapproval of the ‘weird, flat, drooping roof’ that Arquitectonica is proposing, along with the ‘octopus of metal tubes’ along the ceiling near the bathrooms. Erickson also believes that the building will be structurally flawed, preventing sound absorption and proper ventilation.

Both expressed disappointment that students and faculty at the school had no input in the design of the new building.

The new building will be named the Thomas P. Murphy Design Studio, after Coastal Construction donated $3.5 million to the school. Murphy is the CEO of Coastal Construction and an alumnus of the school.

The building is expected to open in spring 2017.


  1. Yet Another Anonymous

    March 31, 2015 at 2:20 pm

    It’s not that bad but not that great either, an interesting minimalism. I like how the roof stays a constant thickness. It looks kind of small, almost a modern one room school house if you will. Hopefully there is something underground.

  2. anonymous

    March 31, 2015 at 3:24 pm

    It doesn’t surprise me that the building is unappealing. Architectonica has had an aesthetic design block for many years. The building does not resemble Miami, the University or an architecture faculty. OK Architectonica, perhaps you should be interned in the building and take a few more courses yourself.

  3. Ed

    March 31, 2015 at 3:42 pm

    UM Students should rally together. I think Miami as a whole has had enough of Arquitectonica

  4. Anonymous

    March 31, 2015 at 4:09 pm

    Architectonica is going downhill

  5. john

    March 31, 2015 at 4:34 pm

    So lets see—2 first year students are opining about the work of a firm that’s been around for 35 years—giving opinions about the structural integrity of the design no less—-and that’s before they have taken 1 structural engineering class……nice to have opinions but maybe you should learn something or better yet—do something before you start throwing around critiques……lets hear what PRACTICING faculty have to say.

    • Leon

      March 31, 2015 at 4:53 pm

      Salty much?

  6. Anonymous

    March 31, 2015 at 5:15 pm

    seriously though who left arquitectonica or what happened?

    It hasn’t been the same since the last boom.

  7. Anonymous

    March 31, 2015 at 10:31 pm

    Hey John, that’s quite an elitist statement. Since when is the critique or opinion about what is good or bad architecture the sole privilege of architects? I am a UM SOA alumnus, a practicing architect for 25 years and happen to agree with the first year student. This is an inappropriate, uninspired, out-of-context piece of architecture. This 35 year old design firm should be doing a lot better work than this.

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