University of Tampa Science Research Laboratory
Corporate Art Consultation Case Study
About the University of Tampa Science Research Laboratory
Located just west of the corner of Kennedy and North boulevards, the Science Research Laboratories provide shared research laboratory space for about 12 biology and chemistry faculty and their undergraduate students in the College of Natural and Health Sciences. The facility allows for growth of the faculty in the areas of synthetic and analytical chemistry, and in various fields of biology that use primarily molecular techniques.
In addition to the three primary research spaces, there is common equipment rooms for shared equipment and instrumentation, a chemical storage area, and a common area where small groups of students and/or faculty can gather for discussions, to study or to write.
The project will also upgrade the Kennedy Boulevard streetscape, employing UT’s signature fencing and landscape. The building site also includes some parking. The current building on the site will be demolished.
In summary, the Science Research Laboratories include:
- 4,000 square feet total.
- Three major labs:
Synthetic Chemistry Lab with space for two researchers
Analytical Chemistry Lab with space for two researchers
Molecular Techniques Lab with space for eight researchers
- Collaboration Area
- Interactive space
- Three small common equipment labs
The building was completed in Summer 2020.
This is a case of serendipity. The president of the University of Tampa was searching for artwork for the university’s new Science Research Laboratory; it is his belief that artwork in the educational environment generates more well-rounded, thoughtful individuals. While driving around Tampa, he spotted a piece in one of the windows of Michael Murphy Gallery that captured his vision for the new building. The painting used alchemical materials such as raw silver dust and mica flakes in a design that blended the abstract and the material - perfect for scientific inspiration. The president immediately walked into the gallery and approached Michael Murphy to create a corporate collection.
Michael Murphy worked directly with the university president, the building architect, and the selected gallery artist to curate artwork for the entire laboratory building. The initial selection was based on the artwork size as it fit the planned location. However, with over 40 years of experience, Michael knew that what may work in the gallery setting may not always work in the client’s space – so, he brought the artwork into the building itself before the team finalized the collection.
Michael Murphy’s collaborative and hands-on approach paid off. While the team struggled with the artwork selection for a niche near one of the building’s entryways, the building architect suggested one of the gallery artist’s largest and boldest pieces. It was originally thought to be too big to fit the recess; however, Michael Murphy tested it out and found that the artwork fit as if it had been custom made for the niche and the overall entryway. That piece is now a focal point of the collection.
Michael Murphy’s art selection brought a creative energy to the scientific space while his custom consultation process echoed the collaborative and open-minded spirit of the best of scientists. Fulfilling the president’s vision, the University of Tampa Science Research Laboratory will continue to encourage this same spirit.