Modern Design is Alive & Well in Orlando

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HuntonBrady Architects' iconic buildings mark Central Florida's landscape for 60 years.

Decades of Timeless Design - that's the phrase that best sums up HuntonBrady Architects (http://www.huntonbrady.com) in its 60th anniversary year of business. The firm has grown with the community, and its body of work reflects the educational, commercial and residential changes of 60 years in Orlando. They will celebrate their anniversary on September 6, 2007, with Orlando officials declaring it HuntonBrady Architects' 60th Anniversary Day in Orlando.

In 1947, Robert B. Murphy, a Harvard-educated architect and WWII veteran from South Carolina, retired from the Army Air Corp and put down roots in Orlando. He started his own architecture firm: Robert B. Murphy, Architect. When Bob retired in 1979, the firm was known as Murphy Hunton Shivers & Brady. Sixty years after the firm was founded, and a few more name changes down the road, Bob's legacy lives on in HuntonBrady Architects' devotion to creative collaboration with clients and timeless design.

Over the years, the firm has employed a wealth of talented area architects whom eventually served as Principals in the firm: Claude Shivers, Tom Hunton, Clyde Brady, Fred Pryor, Maurizio Maso, Steve Belflower, and current President Chuck Cole.

What's the benchmark of a HuntonBrady project? A clear modernist sensibility, says Cole. HuntonBrady's architecture is distinguished by simplified forms, sleek details, integration of color, pattern and texture.

"Though modern in design, all our projects are representative of their eras, and very appropriate to their time and place," Cole explained. "I think an equally important benchmark of a HuntonBrady building is the high standard we've always placed on creative collaboration with our clients, so that they have ownership in the final design, as well."

HuntonBrady's team has designed a number of Central Florida landmarks, including (in chronological order):

1. The City of Orlando Firehouse at Marks & Ferncreek - 1950s
2. The two-story round American Federal Building, located across from City Hall on Orange Avenue (subsequent stories were added later) - 1960s
3. The Central Branch of the YMCA - 1960s
4. The first four buildings on the new University of Central Florida campus in east Orlando: the Science Building, the Library Building, the Student Center and the Dormitories - 1970s
5. The first patio homes in Central Florida at The Springs - 1970s
6. Over ten buildings on the new Valencia Community College Campus on Kirkman Road - 1970s
7. A deluge of Eighties office buildings including Sabal Center, Maitland Colonnades, Southtrust Bank Building, and 2600 Maitland Center.
8. The Team Disney Corporate Headquarters building, a joint project with renowned architect Arata Isozaki of Tokyo - 1980x
9. The Orange County Convention Center Phase III Addition - 1990s
10. A wealth of Class A office buildings designed in the Nineties that make up the Heathrow International Business Center, seen from I-4.
11. Fiserv CBS worldwide headquarters in Lake Mary - 2000s

The firm has been recognized both statewide and nationally with a number of design awards. In 1995, they were named Firm of the Year by the Florida American Institute of Architects (AIA). And two Principals, Clyde Brady and Maurizio Maso, were honored with the distinguished Design Honor Award, the highest award the Florida AIA bestows upon an individual in recognition of an outstanding portfolio of architectural achievement.

In 1980, Clyde Brady started HuntonBrady's coveted annual holiday poster tradition as a way to celebrate the holidays and share the firm's passion for architecture with the community. Their popularity grew as word spread and collections started. Now the posters grace the walls of homes, offices and institutions all over the world.

Today, a staff of 75 people makes the wheels turn in their current location at 800 North Magnolia, a collaborative modern design by its architects and interior design staff. Their core business concentrations are divided among healthcare, education, commercial, biotechnology and research laboratories, medical office buildings, interior architecture, religious, and private projects. Current HuntonBrady projects in Central Florida include the Florida Hospital 15-story Patient Tower near downtown, interior design services for Orlando Utility Commissions new "green" headquarters, Seminole Community College's Heathrow Technology Center and new Altamonte Springs campus, and the University of Central Florida College of Medicine.

Cole explains, "We remain dedicated to the high standards set by our founder, Bob Murphy, to creatively collaborate with clients, maintain high ethical standards, and contribute to the community. We plan to be here 60 more years."

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LORIE PARKER MATEJOWSKY
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