University of Florida launches construction on school of design

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Florida Construction News staff writer

The University of Florida has kicked off construction on the Bruno E. and Maritza F. Ramos Collaboratory Building for the School of Design Construction and Planning (DCP).

The $32 million addition and renovation was designed by Fort Lauderdale- and Los Angeles-based Brooks + Scarpa. Construction will add 50,000 square feet of multipurpose space, a lecture hall, research hubs and digital modeling and fabrication spaces.

The building is expected to be completed in 2025.

The building is named after Bruno-Elias Ramos, a principal at BEA Architects, and his wife Maritza, who are alumni of the University of Florida.

“The University of Florida shaped me professionally and is where I met my wife of 38 years, so it feels great to be able to give back to the institution that has given me so much,” Ramos in a press release. “Maritza and I are extremely excited to help bring the Collaboratory to fruition and are certain that this facility will help develop future DCP graduates throughout their education at UF.

“This building will become the launching pad as they take off from Gainesville and make a meaningful impact in our world.”

The Collaboratory Building will be constructed as two opposing, semi-circular wings connected to the existing building with floor-to-ceiling windows and brickwork and forming a cantilever over the ground-floor base.

The renovation will reimplement a proposed canopy design from the original 1977 plan for the building that will enclose the structure, protecting it from weather and water, which given its climate, have always been issues on the site.

“The College is thrilled to be working with Brooks + Scarpa on this important new building for our campus,” said Dean Chimay Anumba. “This innovative facility is critical to the future of DCP and will strengthen collaborative working across all the built environment disciplines in the college. It will position the college well for its next phase following our Centennial in 2025. We are most grateful for the tremendous financial and in-kind support of our alumni and friends, which has made this possible.”

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