Search results for "Miami Beach"
A series of residential towers is set to replace some of Miami’s historic hotels. The city has seen a wave of development in the last 10 years, and neighborhoods such as North Beach—once off the radar—have become new urban hot pockets.
Many long-time residents are concerned about the dangers of luxury condo-fication, and Mayor Philip Levine has voiced concerns about preserving Miami’s iconic architecture. “One of the catalysts for change in South Beach in the late 80s and 90s was the recognition of art deco. So we want to preserve the MiMo style as a catalyst for North Beach. We have to be very careful to preserve any and all architecturally significant properties,” he told the Washington Post.
Four new residential projects are giving a glimpse into the challenges and possibilities of mitigating new redevelopment within existing urban fabric, preserving architectural and cultural heritage, and making places in which people of all socio-economic backgrounds can thrive.
Two of the hotel-to-condo projects offer a blend of old Miami and new, ultra-modern building. The L’Atelier Residences will be slotted in behind the historic facade of the Golden Sands Hotel. The historically protected art deco facade and an interior lobby will be retained. Historic preservation required this restoration, but co-developer Meir Srebernik saw it more as an opportunity to “create a dialogue between the old and new construction.”
Similarly, Richard Meier will update the iconic (and ultra-exclusive) Surf Club hotel, converting it to condos. The original 1930 building, a protected Mediterranean villa with a ballroom and bathing cabanas, will be restored with new 12-story residential and hotel towers looming behind it.
The site of the old King Cole Hotel will be home to the Ritz Carlton Residences, a midrise waterfront residential project designed by Milanese architect Piero Lissoni. Because the hotel was repurposed as a hospital before closing permanently, a zoning quirk re-categorized the site as low-density residential to match the abutting sites. Thus, had the developers demolished the building, it would have meant rebuilding at a lower height restriction so they are adapting the existing structure.
Real estate firm Terra Group asked Renzo Piano to redevelop the site of The Biltmore Terrace Hotel, a Morris Lapidus–designed postwar tower that had recently been a Howard Johnson. There was some controversy when plans to refurbish the building into a new hotel were scrapped abruptly after a height variance was given. However, the building was not landmarked, so a complete demolition began several weeks later. The developer opted instead to master plan the site with a 17-story condo tower and a large park space by landscape architects West 8 that aims to let passersby see the beach from Collins Avenue—a complement to Piano’s subtle architecture.
While the contrasts in the projects might tell a story about the importance of historic preservation, they also show a range of strategies for working within physical and legal restrictions to make places that are sensitive to their surroundings and can hopefully be enjoyed by communities while preserving the character of a place. Even if most people cannot afford to live in these ultra-exclusive residences, they still experience them in one way or another, from architectural appreciation to walking dogs in green space.
For Miami architect Rene Gonzalez, the best design solutions come from odd or interesting problems. When confronted with specific contexts and environmental conditions, he takes them as an opportunity to give life and energy to a project.
Context, weather, and native architectural types guide each project, such as with a series of houses that lie in flood planes. Gonzalez found that raising them on pilotis not only protects them from flooding and saves the clients enormous amounts of money on insurance, but it also becomes a way to create social areas on the ground while offering a respite in the private spaces above.
He is not concerned with novel forms or flashy projects, but with spatial experiences cultivated from materials, light, and the surroundings. “I am interested in capturing the essence and qualities of a place and representing them,” Gonzalez told AN.
A Cuban-American and native Floridian, Gonzalez spent time in Los Angeles in the 1980s during the heyday of experimental California architecture. Those influences stuck with him and today his work is about testing new ideas with materials, such as bush-hammered marble, floating concrete planes, and laser-cut metal panels. As the firm begins to work at larger scales, such as community centers and condo towers, that experimental attitude will produce a new range of unexpected designs.
Prairie Avenue Residence
Miami Beach, Florida
Situated in a flood zone, the Prairie Residence is a single-family home that sits elevated by columns. The design is inspired by the native buildings found in the region, including Seminole huts and Biscayne Bay’s Stiltsville. The result is a pair of pavilions that soar above the sculptural garden, Concrete planes frame the spaces, separated by glass details that give the impression of floating.
Miami Beach, Florida
GLASS is an 18-story residential tower in a heavily art deco part of Miami Beach. The base of tower is designed to meet the urban context and relate to surrounding four- and five-story buildings. The tower was conceived as water, and dissipates as it rises and reflects the natural landscape around it. Open floor plans offer 360-degree views for the 10 units, each of which occupies an entire floor.
One of three Alchemist stores designed by Gonzalez, this is a spin on the classic jewelry shop, with Gonzalez’s signature material innovation. The exterior is covered in rose-gold-colored mirrors that reflect the surroundings of the Miami’s Design District. Inside, walls of green Costa Esmeralda Granite transition from smooth and polished to rough and bush-hammered, complementing interspersed panels of rose-gold glass. The custom display cases are made of glass and onyx.
Long Island, New York
Located on a precarious site in a wetland preserve flanked by the Atlantic Ocean on one side and Mecox Bay on the other, the Hamptons Residence is a two-story private home that is raised on stilts to protect against the possibility of a storm surge. The glass facade is designed to reflect the surroundings, and is developed as a collage to break up the views and frame them as a spatial experience, rather than one panorama.
Hear more from Gonzalez and others in the AEC industry, and participate in exclusive local field trips, at Facades+ Miami this fall. For more information or to register, visit the conference website.
Florida International University to be the first arts and design college to launch a Makerbot Innovation Lab
Fly's Eye Dome reproduction applies contemporary tools and materials to 1970s concept.Thirty years after R. Buckminster Fuller's death, the visionary inventor and architect's Fly's Eye Dome has been reborn in Miami. Unveiled during Art Basel Miami Beach 2014, the replica dome, designed and fabricated by Goetz Composites in cooperation with the Buckminster Fuller Institute (BFI), pays tribute to Fuller both aesthetically and technologically. Constructed using contemporary materials and digital design tools, the new 24-foot Fly's Eye Dome (which serves as the pedestrian entrance to a parking garage in the Miami Design District) is yet further evidence that the creator of the geodesic dome was ahead of his time. BFI commissioned Goetz based on the firm's prior work restoring the original Fly's Eye Dome. At the end of that process, they created a 3D scan of the prototype for BFI's records. The digital files were the jumping-off point for the reproduction, for which ConForm Lab's Seth Wiseman provided critical design assistance, as did Daniel Reiser of DR Design. Wiseman produced a parametric model of the dome's truncations in Grasshopper, then compared his model to the 3D scan of the original to make sure the geometries matched. A 2012 reproduction of the Fly's Eye Dome, the MGM Butterfly Pavilion in Macau, China, constituted a practice round of sorts. "For Macau, we had a tight timeline: from the algorithm to shipment [we had] six weeks," said Wiseman. "We were able to review and tweak the geometry for the Miami dome—to refine it and make it more consistent with the original prototype." Goetz, Reiser, and Wiseman introduced a few crucial changes into the Miami reproduction. "Bucky's original intent and concept was well-placed, but it suffered in execution," observed Wiseman. Fuller's prototype used a shingle system of overlapping truncations to shed water. As a result, the geometry was complicated. "The problem for us, from the manufacturing standpoint, is that it required four different molds," said Wiseman. "Though technology allows us to produce something of this complexity fairly easily, it's cost-prohibitive unless we're doing something on a production scale." The design team eliminated the shingle system, instead using a standard two-legged flange and coupler attachment to connect adjacent truncations on the dome's interior. The attachments are both mechanically fastened—for fidelity to Fuller's vision—and epoxy fitted—to meet engineering requirements. "If we were to do a third iteration, our hope is to develop joinery to eliminate the fasteners, for both assembly and aesthetic reasons," said Wiseman. In keeping with Fuller's commitment to all things cutting-edge, Goetz fabricated the reproduction using 21st-century materials and methods. They selected a PRO-SET epoxy originally developed for use on Coast Guard vessels to stand up to the South Florida weather, and replaced the glass domes with polycarbonate lenses sourced by Wasco and detailed with help from 3M. The composite forms were milled on a 5-axis CNC machine using EPS foam molds. (MouldCAM did some of the CNC cutting.) "The nice part with the Miami dome is that it's the next iteration," said Wiseman. "We've created a fire-retardant, code-compliant structure in the same vein [as the original]. I hate to say it, but I'm kind of excited to see a major storm hit Florida and see how it performs." For Goetz's Chase Hogoboom, the Fly's Eye Dome represents not just the history, but also the future of architecture. "Our background historically has been building state-of-the-art racing sailboats," he said. "We're seeing more and more demand for use of composites in architectural applications, mainly as a result of designers using programs that allow them to design very complicated shapes that need to be structural. And if you look at a Bucky dome, it's a complicated shape that needs to be structural."
The Miami Art/Design Fair week starts quietly with a murmuration of starlings, a blob-like cluster of birds flying in perfect formation while re-morphing, changing shape, and moving up and down the horizon, but retaining their amorphous sense of unity throughout the aerial dance. I am stuck in traffic, trying to reach the first of many events, when just as suddenly the birds vanish. The moment of unexpected natural beauty will resonate throughout the week as a revelatory message of sorts. I only have to figure out what it means.
The week begins at 4:00 p.m. with a tour of the newly refurbished Design District with developer Craig Robins and Mathieu Le Bozec of L Real Estate (an LVMH subsidiary). With all the millions flowing in, Robins has managed to skip several stages of gentrification and go straight to platinum luxury utopia. More than a hundred luxury brands are either already open or will soon be open, including Bulgari, Cartier, Louis Vuitton, Pucci, Versace, Dior, Givenchy, Dolce & Gabbana, Hermès, Tom Ford, etc. One looks for the grand architectural gesture and finds instead a high-end shopping mall, a protected urban space fortified with luxury brand logos and a variety of surface treatments. Much of the effect is just that, special effects, well-placed claddings, wrappings, and graftings, a kind of architectonic nipping and tucking that employs reflective glass, mottled surfaces, and theatrical lighting to achieve the desired suspension of disbelief. Will it be an effective enough illusion to lure zillionaire shoppers from the lush comforts of Bal Harbour Shops and the other high-end venues of South Florida? Without them, the heady rise of the Design District may turn into an equally precipitous decline. The new Palm Court creates a conspicuously fortified enclosure to protect Manolo Blahnik–wearing shoppers from accidentally bumping into urine-scented street folk, but the plaza is semi-public, open on the north and west to pedestrian traffic, and soon there will be an outdoor cafe on the second level and a handsome cast-concrete public events space designed by Aranda/Lasch to help lure non-shoppers deeper into the complex.
Courtesy Alastair Gordon
Some of the unfinished buildings have been draped with translucent mesh veils that give them a mysterious, burka-like presence. There’s also an element of folding and pleating going on in some of the facades. The Aranda/Lasch building is clad in cast concrete slabs with patterned imprints that mimic a kind of embroidery. The two-story arcade of narrow glass fins by Japanese architect Sou Fujimoto reads as a lattice of chilly blue icicles. It may help to break the ferocity of the Miami sun while framing the shops along the southern side of the Palm Court, but its engineering seems fussy and needlessly overwrought.
The district is desperately in need of more parking, as is all of Miami, and the origami-like folds of Leong Leong’s unfinished multi-level garage on North Miami Avenue are best seen from the elevated perspective of I-195 as blue-and-white metallic membranes appear to crinkle from side to side as one drives by at 70 miles per hour.
The Design District’s star attraction, however, is Buckminster Fuller’s Fly’s Eye dome that dropped like an alien intruder into the very heart of the complex. It’s a digitally re-engineered version of the original 24-foot-diameter Fly’s Eye that was fabricated in 1979 by John Warren and is now installed on the western deck of the Pérez Art Museum Miami, two miles to the south. The new version was built by Daniel Reiser to meet local codes, and has already become the symbolic centerpiece of the entire Design District, upstaging all of the architecture that surrounds it.
Courtesy Alastair Gordon
I arrive late at the opening reception for the Edition, the renovated former Seville Hotel, pushing past tall thin models in black lycra mesh who stand guard with transparent clipboards as shields, like the “Hounds of Hell,” as one rumpled writer suggests. Ian Schrager concocted the refurbished hybrid hotel in tandem with Arne Sorenson of the Marriott. John Pawson is project architect and interiors are by Yabu Pushelberg with black walnut veneers and sandy shades of beige with creamy pale undertones. We sit in the Matador Room and listen to Shrager and Sorenson compliment one another and explain how they had created the highest-end luxury boutique hotel on Miami Beach, comparing their efforts most humbly to the corporate branding of Apple. The original Seville Hotel (1955) was designed by Melvin Grossman, protégé of Morris Lapidus, and the new owners want to keep its rat-pack elegance intact while smoothing and slimming it down. The Edition/Seville holds its own against the Fontainebleau and Eden Roc and only lacks the kind of money-shot moment that Lapidus was so good at choreographing. Grossman outdid his mentor when it came to an outdoor circular bar and a multi-level diving platform, both of which have been lovingly restored along with the oversized chandeliers and gold mosaic columns in the lobby.
Courtesy Alastair Gordon
Design Miami opens for previews on Tuesday and at last acknowledges the environment in three curated shows within the main exhibition pavilion. For Swarovski, Jeanne Gang offers Thinning Ice, an ingenious interpretation of melting polar ice caps with white enameled icebergs rising from a reflective floor laced with rivers of melted ice (tiny Swarovski crystals) flowing through narrow fiber-optic streams.
Perrier-Jouët’s Ephemera by Katharina Mischer and Thomas Traxler is a mechanical ornamental garden that rises and falls in response to human movements around a large oak table, a sweetly melancholic reminder of man’s love-hate co-dependency with nature. Olson Kundig Architects have delivered the finest gesture of the show with their lounge installation called 38 Beams, bringing a muscular Northwestern vibe to Miami’s often-ephemeral sub-tropical environment. It’s a kind of Lincoln Logs stacking of horizontal beams that allows for visual and atmospheric penetration from the main hall so that VIPs won’t feel so lonely and removed while sitting within, sipping glasses of Perrier-Jouët. The massive beams, measuring about 15 inches by 30 inches and 30 feet long, were recycled by Olson Kundig from an old industrial building in Los Angeles, refurbished, flame-proofed and then lightly sanded.
On Thursday morning I am obliged to moderate a fractious panel on the theme of “The Future of Design” with furniture diva Patrizia Moroso, Italian architect/designer Piero Lissoni, and Israeli-Brit enfant terrible Ron Arad, who speaks about his remodel of the Watergate building in Washington, DC. In addition to making architectural changes, Arad has designed everything from furniture to napkins and stationary with a font based on shredded documents from the Watergate hearings. He also broke up the program by presenting a new prototype based on a funky old mattress that he’d spotted on the street near his London studio. The mattress lay up against a wall, bent in half, deformed, reeking of malodorous human indignities, but he became obsessed with it, nonetheless, taking photographs, making sketches and somehow transforming it from trash into an elegant low-impact couch that he named “Matrizia” in honor of Patrizia Moroso who laughed and, on the spot, agreed to put it into production in her family’s 62-year-old factory based in Udine, Italy. A design critic from England pointed out that while most designers see a problem and attempt to come up with a solution, Arad sees a problem and creates more problems.
Friday morning, the wind whips off Biscayne Bay, seeming to pick up velocity as it caroms off buildings and spills down onto the site of this morning’s official groundbreaking ceremony for One Thousand Museum, the bone-like, 62-story tower designed by Zaha Hadid. A temporary wall of trees tips over and spreads dirt over the carpeting. Tables collapse, champagne glasses shatter. Waiters try to contain the damage. Valet parking attendants and security personnel scatter and then regroup as Hadid herself arrives, an hour late, entering the throng like a rock star, a royal personage, a diva who now finds herself surrounded by crazed fans pushing their iPhones into her face and inching closer to get a shot of the architect, now looking somewhat embarrassed, now growing concerned for her own safety as a Miami-Dade cop pushes into the mob and goes to her rescue.
There’s a champagne brunch on the beach, an immersive video event, a plastic pollution installation in Wynwood, the Peter Marino show at the Bass Museum of Art, a Prouvé demountable house at the Delano that I still haven’t seen but I give up after sitting in cross-bay traffic and finally abandon my car by the side of the road and start to cross the Venetian Causeway by foot. Protests have broken out in reaction to the Eric Garner grand jury on Staten Island. Roads are blocked and conditions escalate when news gets out about a similar case of police brutality in Miami itself: Delbert Rodriguez Gutierrez, a 21-year-old street artist otherwise known as “Demz,” was run over by a squad car this morning when the cops spotted him “tagging” a private building near 24th Street and gave chase. Gutierrez died soon after.
The crowds are swelling even further, tempers flaring, momentum building as the mob moves outward and expands into a single body with a single mind: “I can’t breathe!” they chant, holding up their hands, “I can’t breathe!” echoing Garner’s dying words. The protesters march onto I-195, shutting down the highway and blocking the Julia Tuttle Causeway, a prime connector between mainland and beach, between art fairs and design shows, disrupting the to and fro, the art world gossip, the backroom deals and interviews and celebrity clusterfucks, VIP red carpets, vacuous panel discussions. Suddenly the entire Art Basel Bubble bursts with the loud refrain: “I can’t breathe!” and there is nothing left but an urge to file this report as quickly as I can. But I feel pressed to relate the ending back to the beginning—as a proper story should: The starlings rose up in their murmuration on Monday afternoon and appeared to be telling me something that I couldn’t understand. I am still at a loss for words.
Oyler Wu Collaborative partner delves into jewelry design.Oyler Wu Collaborative partner Jenny Wu had long dreamed of designing jewelry—just as soon as she found some spare time. Last fall, she realized that she might wait forever for a break from her busy architecture practice. "At some point I decided, 'I'll design some pieces, and the easiest way to make it happen is just to 3D print them,'" said Wu. She fabricated a couple of necklaces, and brought them on her just-for-fun trip to Art Basel Miami Beach 2013. "I wore my pieces around, and I was stunned by the response I was getting," she recalled. "People kept coming up to me, literally every five seconds. After a while, I thought, 'Maybe I do have something that's unique, especially for a design crowd.'" Back home in Los Angeles, Wu began prototyping necklaces and earrings for retail sale under the name LACE. Though she originally planned to use 3D printing only to mock up her designs, she decided carry the technology through to her finished pieces. "I'd like to do more high-end, low-run pieces," said Wu. "Especially for jewelry, when you're making custom pieces, people are willing to wait for them. It just made sense from the production point of view for me to use 3D printing." Wu's next step was to design additional pieces and test materials. Typical 3D printing materials like nylon "might look great, but they're extremely fragile and brittle," explained Wu. "Especially resins—they don't have the right tensile quality. Like if you're wearing a necklace and someone hugs you too hard [it can break]." Wu's current line includes necklaces in an elastic nylon material. She also offers earrings and rings in polished nylon that takes advantage of selective laser sintering (SLS) technology, plus a premium cast-metal series that utilizes 3D-printed wax molds. Wu, who is collaborating with Stratasys on certain designs in addition to partnering with other professional 3D printing firms, aspires to use the technology as more than just a production expedient. "Pieces that push the technology are important," she said. "There's so much detail you can introduce in 3D printing, even in metals. You can create this nice edge detail—it's something I notice, but it isn't necessarily something you'd see in jewelry." Nor is the speed with which she can materialize a concept typical by jewelry-world standards. "I can make these chain-link pieces as part of one print, because the support material is something like powder that you can basically wash off," explained Wu. "That's what's amazing, where in the traditional jewelry-making process you'd have to make individual links that you'd eventually assemble." In a neat closing of the circle, LACE returned to Art Basel Miami Beach last week, this time in a pop-up shop at Aqua Art Miami. One year into her experiment, Wu is comfortable having one foot each in the worlds of jewelry and architecture. "If you look at the jewelry pieces, you see how they could relate to our architecture: our emphasis on line-based geometries, the interesting bundling and layering of material, and creating something very spatial, not graphic and flat," she said. "I don't see a separation between my architecture and my jewelry." As for the day-to-day reality of spearheading two creative businesses at once, that seems to be working, too. LACE is in Wu's name, but "the work's happening simultaneously with all the same people," she said. "While it may have its own identity, it's very much part of our office in terms of production. We like how it keeps things fun."