BBA alumnus Kyle Murphy ‘07 and his firm KaTO Architects will lead the design of the $20 million Rowland Project created by local benefactor Wendy Rowland and her late husband Barry. Kyle will work in partnership with ZGF Architects, a Washington, D.C. based firm that will serve as Executive Architect. The centerpiece of the Rowland Project will be a 25,000 square foot 21st-century learning center coupled with a courtyard on what is currently a parking lot located behind the venerable Seminary Building linking the old with the new. The target date for completion of this project is June 2021.
Headmaster Mark Tashjian commented, “We are extremely excited about working with Kyle and ZGF on this project. Kyle has demonstrated tremendous talent and creativity, and he will bring his deep love of BBA to this endeavor. His experience in imaginative design coupled with the global experience of ZGF Architects will make for a superb design team.”
Board chair Seth Bongartz added, “We are hiring Kyle because he demonstrated the greatest combination of talent and commitment to this project. We interviewed four highly regarded architecture firms, and Kyle emerged as the most reflective of what we were looking for. The fact that he is one of our own is an added bonus.”
Reacting to the news, Kyle said, “I am incredibly honored and humbled by this opportunity, and I will do all possible to deliver a design that will best serve and inspire students now and for generations.”
Since graduating from BBA, Kyle has kept his alma mater in mind. Kyle stated, “While I was a student at Virginia Tech, I kept in contact with a number of faculty and had many inspirational conversations with them. The faculty offered visionary ideas which motivated me to put together a variety of design options.
He continued, “When I heard about the Rowland gift and the plans to construct a new academic center, I was excited by the possibilities. I put other projects on hold and focused on creating a proposal to get in front of Mark Tashjian and the Rowland Project team. They responded with tremendous enthusiasm for creating progressive architecture on campus, and I was fortunate enough to be invited to present a formal plan for the project.”
Kyle will work in partnership with ZGF Architects, a highly acclaimed firm with innovative projects world-wide. His longtime friend and mentor, Brian Earle, is an associate principal with ZGF, and they will form the core of the team to bring design expertise, deep knowledge of sustainable systems, and creativity to the process. Kyle and ZGF will work with local engineers, landscape architects, and construction professionals to develop a project which Brian emphasizes as "of the place, for the community."