After months of fierce rivalry and contentious one-upping, Rem Koolhaas’ OMA has beat out Bjarke Ingels (BIG) in the competition for the Miami Beach Convention Center commission. At times, it appeared as if BIG was in the lead, but OMA crept up and ultimately took home the prize.
OMA has proposed a $600 million overhaul of the 52-acre convention center to build a more integrated facility in addition to tacking on more open space and park land. This plan calls for reconfiguring the layout of the convention center to provide enhanced access to Lincoln Road, green space, and existing hotel on the beach.
“We wanted to expand the convention center without taking up more space within the city, so one of the key elements of our design is that we stack the hotel and ballroom,” Jason Long, associate architect at OMA, told AN in June. “We integrated the hotel to reduce the footprint of the building and leave some breathing room for open space and as a buffer between the convention center and the Jackie Gleason Theater and new cultural building to the south.”
Before announcing their decision, Miami Beach Commission requested trimmed down versions of their proposals. The winning South Beach ACE Team, consisting of OMA and Tishman, shaved off some retail, and axed the residential and cultural buildings.