This summer, the team from Murphy & Dittenhafer visited several sites together as part of their annual M&D Day, a trip designed to inspire and refresh the architects and their support staff. This particular trip will give them an opportunity to visit some of their own completed projects and see them in use, which they don’t always get to do.
This year’s group outing included six stops around Baltimore--all Murphy & Dittenhafer projects except for the new John and Frances Angelos Law Center on the University of Baltimore campus. The award-winning, $114.3 million, 192,00 square-foot project is certified LEED Platinum and has already become an architectural landmark in central Baltimore.
Last September, the team traveled to Philadelphia for M&D Day. Frank Dittenhafer had visited the University of Pennsylvania for a Grad School Architecture class reunion, during which he had the opportunity to tour the campus to see new buildings and infill additions - and the enhanced site planning between the buildings themselves. Inspired to bring Murphy & Dittenhafer employees for a visit, he contacted Penn’s department of campus facilities and they offered to have Principal Planner Mark Kocent give a tour.
The team got access to a variety of spaces on the campus, including historic buildings, new construction, additions, and open spaces. Highlights of the tour included the Fisher Fine Arts Library, designed by renowned Philadelphia architect Frank Furness and dedicated in 1891, and other landmark buildings such as the Richards Medical Research Laboratories, designed by Louis Kahn, which had recently celebrated its 50th anniversary. They talked about urban redevelopment on the edges of the campus and discussed the architectural detailing and unique materials utilized in the construction “between buildings.”
The acclaimed Krishna P. Singh Center for Nanotechnology was nearly complete, and set to open about a week after the group’s visit. The chief planner apologized for the timing, saying he was unable to take them inside the building. Moments later, someone waved to the planner to invite them in, and they got a special sneak peek at the green, high-tech building.
A week later, the Singh Center graced the cover of almost every architectural trade publication - it was THE building everyone was talking about, and one of the impressive examples of architectural excellence that the M&D team got to experience for themselves.