Franklin Report Report Card for BAM/Brian Murphy in Los Angeles
★ Franklin Report Card
BAM/Brian Murphy
150 West Channel Road
Santa Monica, CA 90402
(310) 459-0955
Main Contact: Brian Murphy, Maureen Murphy

Services & Specialties
Creative, innovative, green residential architecture

Work Quality
Cost Evaluation
Value Analysis
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FR Review:
Artist first, architect second, but uniquely talented in both disciplines, Brian Murphy is open to new ways of doing everything, even after decades of heading up his own firm. As practical as he is creative, Murphy works in all contexts and budgets. Delighted clients tell us he even does interiors, designing down to the salt and pepper shakers. Murphy learned the ropes of the construction/design business working for the family construction company, and he brings this unique perspective, occasionally filling the role of general contractor for the firm's twenty to thirty annual projects himself.

Clients find Murphy a kick to work with, calling him "a gestalt kind of guy." With an office overlooking the ocean, Murphy has been known to grab one of the five surfboards that adorn his office and catch a couple of waves while thinking about his latest project. Insiders say his evolutionary, inventive approach necessitates a "super-confident" contractor—if the job is not helmed by Murphy himself. Though he works primarily in an intellectually engaged, modern style, Murphy can and will design in vocabularies ranging from classical to wildly contemporary. We're also told that the environmentally sensitive Murphy is a proponent of green building practices and materials. Always pushing the envelope in terms of both form and function, BAM is capable of experimenting with offbeat materials for efficiency or shock value, but the backgrounds retain a quiet neutrality.

BAM works primarily in Los Angeles, although the firm has completed projects in Japan, Hawaii and New York. Most of Murphy's commissions are residential single-family homes. Of these, the work is divided evenly between new home construction and remodels and renovations. BAM will accept projects as small as one room. While the firm's fees are standard and generally billed out with respect to time and materials, we hear typical new houses come in at about 4,000 square feet, at a $200 to $300 per square foot cost which is described as quite reasonable. However Murphy is not afraid of any budget, having done a commercial job for fifteen dollars per square foot. Fees are also on the moderate side.

Representative Client Comments:
"Brian's a calm, engaging and fascinating individual. He really enjoys thinking about the meaning of architecture in life." "Brian's very pragmatic—not one of those guys who shoot the moon and worry about costs later." "Murphy found us a contractor who walks on water, because he's so knowledgeable about building." "I just love going around and looking at his work because he's always coming up with new and innovative things." "Such a good guy. His creativity is incredible. " "My steam shower is so seductive, featuring an abstract mosaic of Greek gods." "Good understanding of space and really knowing what can be done." "Brian takes a lot of joy in figuring out the less expensive." "He can do it all from nice classic fresh changes to over-the-top abstract." "So positive, so upbeat."

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