Julia Murphy


Managing Partner - USA + Canada East Practice Leader

New York


Julia Murphy has built a career around two main goals: to solve large-scale architectural problems, and to help move the design and real estate industries toward equality for women and minorities. She is an expert in solving the physical, financial, and administrative challenges of building in New York City, and has founded multiple career development programs for women.

As an architect and project manager, Julia thrives on complexity. She has taken the helm of some of the largest projects in the city, including Manhattan West, a 7-million-square-foot development built over active railroad tracks. Her work includes adaptive reuse, hospitality, higher education buildings, residential towers, and commercial offices for major companies including Citigroup and The Walt Disney Company. She has a diverse range of project responsibilities, from day-to-day interaction with clients and consultants to maintaining staffing, schedules, and budgets.

Design is often understood in terms of a finished product, but when working with a complex site, a mixed-use program, and multiple groups of clients, the process is crucial. We work with all stakeholders to deeply understand their goals, collaboration style, and organizational structure to make the design process efficient and bespoke, and that has an outsize impact on a project’s success.

Her growing list of contributions to equity began when she co-founded the SOM Women’s Initiative in 2011 to cultivate and promote the development and success of women at SOM and within the design disciplines. She also founded the SOM Shadowship program, served as chair of the Beverly Willis Architecture Foundation—where she currently serves on the Board of Trustees as Chair of the Nominating Committee—and represents the design profession on the WX New York Women Executives in Real Estate events committee. She is the Chair of the New York ULI Mixed Use Green Local Product Council.

Selected Work