4 Reasons Why the “Project of the Year” is Winning Top Honors

The recently completed University of Miami Frost Music Studios was just awarded “Project of the Year” at Urban Land Institute’s Vision Awards. From its unique design, to its sustainable materials and historic surroundings, this one of a kind project project is helping to bring an innovative academic experience to over 700 hundred students and 100 faculty members at UM’s music school.

Courtesy of HOK


Skanska USA led the project’s construction and the design was spearheaded by architects Yann Weymouth and HOK. The Frost Music Studios was also just this past week recognized by the national publication Engineering News Record as the top “Green Project” of the year for the Southeast region. Here’s a closer look at what makes this music school so noteworthy:

  1. Building green: The project is undergoing steps to become the first newly built music school in the US to achieve LEED Platinum certification.  Among its green features is the use of rooftop solar panels to supply energy to the school. Innovative wastewater technology and water efficient landscape help reduce water and electricity usage at the property. Self-cleaning precast concrete panels that include a mixture of titanium dioxide clean the air film around the building, preventing it from collecting dirt. Sustainable materials include curtain wall frames made from recycled content, bamboo flooring and precast panels manufactured from a regional source.
  1. Enhancing academic experience: With construction costs totaling $19.8 million, the building’s resources far surpass those of traditional music schools. With newly soundproof practice rooms facilitated by inner and outer walls separated by space, students no longer have to worry about sound filtering in from nearing studios. Other new additions include: a new entrance to the Frost music school, state-of-the-art recording capabilities, a furnished breezeway terrace and box office kiosks for performances.     Skanska-Project
  2. Overcoming challenges: With HOK leading the design, the project features 77 chamber music and teaching studios, two oversized rehearsal halls, and a reception and information center. With the new UM Frost School of Music located on the main University of Miami campus in the heart of Coral Gables, one of the challenges the Skanska construction team faced was to construct new buildings steps away from the music school’s existing historical structures and while school was in session. The team worked closely with the university and designers on planning and communicating strategically without disrupting academic activities.


  1. Innovating music: University of Miami has served the citizens of Miami-Dade for over 85 years through education, research, healthcare services, community outreach, and economic development. The addition of the music studios to the university’s music school will help drive further innovation in music with its experiential music curriculum, continue to give the university a competitive edge, and benefit its music students today and tomorrow with a high-caliber education taught in state-of-the-art facilities.


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