A decade ago, Sweden’s tallest building went up with a twist. The “Turning Torso” by Santiago Calatrava rises up elegantly on the coast of Malmö, a low-rise city that is Sweden’s third largest.
That same year, across the equally impressive Øresund Bridge that links Copenhagen with Malmö, a sprightly 31-year-old Bjarke Ingels was founding his studio, Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) in the Danish capital (his hometown). Today, Calatrava’s tower still lays claim to its 2005 title, but Ingels’ firm has arguably reached greater heights since then.
Just over a decade later, BIG has completed its second project in the United States: The Grove at Grand Bay, a pair of luxury 20-story towers that emulate Calatrava’s contortions.
From Malmö to Miami, however, climatic conditions could not be more different. While cold winds bash the Swedish shoreline, appearing to sculpt Calatrava’s work into shape, the same cannot be said in humid south Florida (except for the occasional hurricane, maybe). However, that is not to say BIG’s towers are out of place. The glass-clad twisting high-rises at Coconut Grove on Miami’s coast bring with them a welcome breeze to the area–even if only implied.
Accommodating 98 units, the two towers have floor plates that have been rotated incrementally by three feet from the third floor through the 17th. This feature, twinned with the 12-foot-tall custom insulated fenestration that traces the perimeter of each floor, facilitates balcony space that offers views over the tranquil Biscayne Bay. Panoramic vistas, in fact, can be found all around, especially on the upper levels where residents can look onto South Beach and downtown Miami, something which Ingels said echoes the expansive views associated with the “Caribbean sense of modernism” found in the vicinity.
“The main view, though, is out over the water,” said Ingels at a presentation of the project in his Manhattan office. The winding nature of the towers caters to the ocean, allowing the luxury units, which range in size from 1,276 to 10,118 square feet (2 – 6 bedrooms), as much exposure as possible to the waterfront vista. “Even though they are perceived as side-by-side, they don’t block each other’s views,” Ingels explained. Optimum orientation, he continued, is realized at the 17th floor—three levels below the top.
Ingels also discussed the task of structuring the buildings, for which BIG sought the expertise of Vincent DeSimone, who passed away this November. He described DeSimone (whom he referred to as “Vince”) as a “visionary” and called him “one of the greatest engineers” he worked with in his practice. DeSimone’s solution saw poured concrete columns follow the floor plan, rotating with the structure, appearing at a glance to wrap around the building.
As for the amenities for the project, luxury add-ons come thick and fast. Five pools for all residents, a 25-meter lap pool, a jacuzzi as well as four more pools for residents in each tower and the owners of rooftop penthouses are included. A fitness center, private treatment spa, and even a spa for pets comes too, along with a library, private dining room, and a “kids and teen room.” Developer Terra has spent big on art with $1.2 million going toward sculpture and works in a curated art gallery. Parking for owners of dwellings above 4,000 square feet is also available on site.
Unit pricing ranges from $2.96 to $25 million—though all are sold out.