Posts tagged with "Miami":

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Faulders Studios’ Wynwood Garage enlivens the streetscape with perforated aluminum

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The revival of cities across the United States is fundamentally reshaping streetscapes across the country, with dense developments sprouting from barren lots and pedestrian-oriented spaces usurping what were vehicular realms. In a semi-paradoxical twist, the transformation of the American city has also delivered a reappraisal of the ubiquitous parking garage. And while the aesthetic treatment of parking garages is a nationwide trend at the moment, Miami has proven to be something of a leader in this area with high-design projects led by WORKac, OMA, and Jean Nouvel. The Wynwood Garage, designed by Oakland-based Faulders Studio and Wolfberg Alvarez & Partners, joins this scene with a facade of vividly perforated aluminum. Wynwood Garage rises to a height of eight stories and holds retail spaces at the ground floor, offices on the top floor, and parking sandwiched in between—all together totaling approximately 250,000 square feet.
  • Facade Manufacturer Zahner
  • Architect Faulders Studio Wolfberg Alvarez & Partners (architect of record)
  • Facade Installer Zahner KVC Construction
  • Developer Goldman Properties
  • Location Miami, FL
  • Date of Completion 2019
  • System Custom vertical support mullions
  • Products Custom CNC-milled aluminum panels
For Thom Faulders, founder of Faulders Studio, the challenge and objective of the project was to enmesh a large-scale architectural intervention within a streetscape and have it resonate locally—the neighborhood is embellished with a range of street murals and still populated by scrappy light industry. “For the building skin I wanted to scramble, re-align, and interrogate the perceived scale of this new large block-sized building,” said Faulders. “Instead of ‘ambiguous functionality,’ where use and program can be open-ended, the facade design relies on ‘functional ambiguity’ to achieve its scale-shifting effects.” It comes as little surprise that manufacturer Zahner was the outfit behind the facade’s fabrication: the Kansas City operation has expertise in delivering highly-customized metal building enclosures across the country, and world. The pattern, laid over 1,500 unique panels, is akin to a geographic abstract—raised and curved borders are flanked by rows of cylindrical perforations that give way to islands of circular perforations. Protruding elements extend between three-and-ten inches from the facade, and consist of two plates welded into a T section and riveted into position on site. Backing the entire facade is a system produced by Zahner consisting of integrating hooks which are fastened to vertical support mullions; each mullion is custom-slotted by a CNC mill to accommodate the wide range of panel height and widths. Ultimately, the success of a project comes down to the receptiveness to bold ideas by both the developer and city authorities. “We were given full support by the client, and as well by the city design review board,” continued Faulders. “They foresaw that the visual and urban connections we were fostering with the facade would sync with the integrity of the Wynwood Arts District.”  
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Facades+ will spotlight architectural trends in Fort Lauderdale

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Located on the rim of the Gulf of Mexico at the southernmost extremity of the United States, Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and the rapidly expanding Miami metropolitan region, is experiencing a tremendous moment in high-quality design and re-urbanization. Neighborhoods such as the Miami Design District and Wynwood are fundamentally questioning the architectural status quo in the state, and proving a fertile ground for national and international practices in collaboration with local firms. On March 13, The Architect's Newspaper will shine the spotlight on The Sunshine State with Facades+ Ft. Lauderdale, one of our morning symposiums hosted across the country. Igor Reyes, partner and president of local-firm NBWW Architects, collaborated with AN as cochair of the conference. Over the last five decades, the firm has led dozens of projects in Florida and across the Caribbean; with a particular niche in hospitality design and sustainability. The morning symposium is split between three panels; “Building Resilience in the Tropical World,” with Touzet Studio founding principal Jacqueline Gonalez Touret, Brooks + Scarpa Architects principal Jeffrey E. Huber, and FIU College of Architecture professor Henry Rueda; “Wynwood Grows Up: Facade as Art & Environment,” with NBWW project designer Claudio Salazar, Gensler facade engineer Paulina Szpiech, Arquitectonica senior associate Raymond Fort, and Goldman properties director of construction Victor Sanchez; and “Grounding the Hi-Rise Megaproject: Pedestrian-friendly Podiums at Worldcenter,” with Elkus Manfredi senior associate Jeff Sakowitz, DeSimone Structural Engineers associate principal Danilo Nanni, and ODP Architects senior associate Danny Fattal. A key theme extending across the symposium’s three panels is the trend of urbanization and sustainability—both are driving factors in the development of performative and high-design facades across the Miami metropolitan region. “The same facade we once used to drive past at 30 miles per hour and from 20 feet away is now being related to at a walking pace and within the touch of a human hand,” said Reyes. “This magnifies the importance of facades and the level of detailing required—where a good building used to spill out onto the streetscape, now the formula allows the streets to pour into the building.” Further information regarding Facades+ Ft. Lauderdale, and other conferences in 2020, can be found here.
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Hufton + Crow snaps final photos of ZHA’s One Thousand Museum in Miami

  One Thousand Museum, the Zaha Hadid Architects (ZHA)-designed residential tower opposite Miami’s Museum Park, has been documented in detail by Hufton & Crow in a newly released photo series. Incorporating Hadid’s signature curves and an exoskeleton, the 62-story structure was the late Hadid’s last residential tower design and was completed posthumously in July 2019. Boasting views of Biscayne Bay, the 30-acre Museum Park site was redeveloped in 2013 in an effort to increase public space surrounding downtown Miami’s cluster of art and science museums. Known for its distinctive concrete superstructure, the exterior of One Thousand Museum reflects ZHA research into high-rise construction, blending an expressive “web of flowing lines” with solid structural support. The building’s diagonal bracketing system provides strength against powerful hurricane winds, and base columns fan out as the tower rises to meet at the corners, resulting in a tube-like shape that provides additional resistance against wind. “The design expresses a fluidity that is both structural and architectural,” explained ZHA’s project director Chris Lepine in a press statement. “The structure gets thicker and thinner as required, bringing a continuity between the architecture and engineering.” Glass fiber reinforced concrete (GFRC) used in the formwork creates an architectural finish requiring minimal maintenance, and that “crystal-like facade” balances the heavy concrete features of the structure. The interior offers slightly different plans on each floor as a result of the exoskeleton’s curvature. Terraces on lower-floor units cantilever from the corners while upper-floor terraces are incorporated behind the concrete lines. In addition to its 84 residential units, One Thousand Museum features landscaped gardens, an aquatic center, an event space, and on-site parking for residents.
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Forensic Architecture debuts its first U.S. survey in Miami

A retrospective detailing the intensive work of London-based research agency Forensic Architecture is now on view at the Museum of Art and Design at Miami Dade College (MOAD MDC). Forensic Architecture: True to Scale came online last week at the same time news broke that its studio director was excluded from entering the United States for the show’s debut night.  Eyal Weizman, the founder of Forensic Architecture, published an open letter detailing his visa denial by the Department of Homeland Security ahead of the Miami event. According to The New York Times, Weizman first received the news via email and when he tried to apply for another visa application, an interviewer at the U.S. Embassy said: “an algorithm had identified a security threat that was related to him.” The multidisciplinary collective’s work, wrote AN’s Matt Shaw, involves investigating sensitive human rights violations around the world and showing its findings in spatial visualizations such as 3D animations, virtual reality, and digital mapping.  Weizman was offered the chance to “speed up the process” for obtaining a visa ahead of the MOAD exhibition, but he refused to provide names of the people he works with or places he’s recently traveled. “Working in human rights means being in contact with vulnerable communities, activists and experts, and being entrusted with sensitive information,” he wrote in a statement. “These networks are the lifeline of any investigative work. I am alarmed that relations among our colleagues, stakeholders, and staff are being targeted by the U.S. government as security threats.”  Curated by Sophie Landres, the investigations shown at MOAD cover a range of events over the last decade that largely relate to state transgressions in the Middle East. Two projects, however, are dedicated to events in Venezuela and Chicago. Forensic Architecture’s work breaking down the police shooting of Harith Augustus in Chicago’s South Shore neighborhood was already been previewed at the 2019 Chicago Biennial, but unlike the fall showcase, the Miami exhibition will feature all six videos produced by the group in partnership with Invisible Institute. Each video overlaps in six different time scales during and following the shooting.  Though Forensic Architecture has widely exhibited its work, most recently in New York for a short time during the controversial 2019 Whitney Biennial, the Miami showcase is the firm’s first survey in the United States. Two years ago, a video produced in collaboration with The New York Times won an Emmy for reconstructing a chemical attack in Al Lataminah, Syria, in 3D. The award-winning result, One Building, One Bomb, is included in the MOAD exhibition.  Another investigation on view is a never-before-seen project co-produced by the museum called Hebron: Testimonies of Violence (2018-20). It dives into the ways in which virtual reality can assist in compelling witness testimony and recreating a crime scene, according to the exhibition press release. For the project, the team modeled the death of a Palestinian man killed by an Israeli soldier in the occupied city of Hebron.  Forensic Architecture: True to Scale will be on view at Miami Dade College’s Freedom Tower at 600 Biscayne Blvd. through September 27. 
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Eyal Weizman barred from U.S. ahead of Forensic Architecture retrospective

London-based research collective Forensic Architecture, known for its use of architectural, spatial, and technological analysis to uncover state and corporate violence, opens its first major U.S. exhibition today at Miami Dade College’s Museum of Art and Design (MOAD). However, as the collective’s founder, Eyal Weizman was preparing to fly to Miami from his home of London for the opening, he received an email from the U.S. Embassy informing him that his visa had been revoked and he would not be allowed to travel to the United States.
When Weizman went to apply for another visa, an interviewer at the Embassy told him that an “algorithm” had identified him as a security threat due to people he had interacted with, places he had traveled recently, or an unidentified combination of the two. When given the opportunity to “speed up the process” by giving names he felt might have been the cause for setting off alarms, Weizman refused.
Here is the full statement, which will be read by his partner professor Ines Weizman at the MOAD tonight, and was sent to AN by Weizman via email.
Today (February 19th) I was meant to be here with you at the Museum of Art and Design in Miami to open Forensic Architecture’s first major survey exhibition in the United States, True to Scale.
But on Wednesday, February 12th, two days before my scheduled flight to the U.S, I was informed in an email from the U.S. Embassy that my visa-waiver (ESTA) had been revoked and that I was not authorised to travel to the United States. The revocation notice stated no reason and the situation gave me no opportunity to appeal or to arrange for an alternative visa that would allow me be here.
It was also a family trip. My wife Prof. Ines Weizman, who was scheduled to give talks in the U.S. herself, and our two children traveled a day before I was supposed to go. They were stopped at JFK airport in New York where Ines was separated from our children and interrogated by immigration officials for two and a half hours before being allowed entry.
The following day I went to the U.S. Embassy in London to apply for a visa. In my interview the officer informed me that my authorization to travel had been revoked because the “algorithm” had identified a security threat. He said he did not know what had triggered the algorithm but suggested that it could be something I was involved in, people I am or was in contact with, places to which I had traveled (had I recently been in Syria, Iran, Iraq, Yemen, or Somalia or met their nationals?), hotels at which I stayed, or a certain pattern of relations among these things. I was asked to supply the Embassy with additional information, including fifteen years of travel history, in particular where I had gone and who had paid for it. The officer said that Homeland Security’s investigators could assess my case more promptly if I supplied the names of anyone in my network whom I believed might have triggered the algorithm. I declined to provide this information.
This much we know: we are being electronically monitored for a set of connections—the network of associations, people, places, calls, and transactions—that make up our lives. Such network analysis poses many problems, some of which are well known. Working in human rights means being in contact with vulnerable communities, activists and experts, and being entrusted with sensitive information. These networks are the lifeline of any investigative work. I am alarmed that relations among our colleagues, stakeholders, and staff are being targeted by the U.S. government as security threats.
This incident exemplifies—albeit in a far less intense manner and at a much less drastic scale—critical aspects of the “arbitrary logic of the border” that our exhibition seeks to expose. The racialized violations of the rights of migrants at the U.S. southern border are of course much more serious and brutal than the procedural difficulties a U.K. national may experience, and these migrants have very limited avenues for accountability when contesting the violence of the U.S. border.
As I would have announced in today’s lecture, this exhibition is an occasion to launch a joint investigation with local groups into human rights violations in the Homestead detention center in Florida, not far from here, where migrant children have been held in what activists describe as “regimented, austere and inhumane conditions”.
In our practice, exhibitions are treated as alternative forums for accountability, ways of informing the public about serious human rights violations. Importantly, they are also opportunities to share with local activists and community groups the methods and techniques we have assembled over years of work in the field.
To that effect, this exhibition includes an investigation into a CIA drone strike in Pakistan that was presented by a UN Special Rapporteur in the General Assembly; an analysis of the Chicago police killing of a barber that lead to an investigation by the mayor and the city’s police department; and an inquiry into the Israeli bombing of Rafah in Gaza that informed the International Criminal Court’s recent decision to open an investigation into the possibility of Israeli war crimes in occupied Palestine—all alongside other investigations we have conducted with communities and human rights collaborators in Germany, Venezuela, the Mediterranean, and Syria.
These works seek to demonstrate that we can invert the forensic gaze and turn it against the actors—police, militaries, secret services, border agencies—that usually seek to monopolise information. But in employing the counter-forensic gaze one is also exposed to higher level monitoring by the very state agencies investigated.
I would like to thank all those who showed enormous commitment to make this exhibition possible, especially Sophie Landres, Francisco Canestri, Gladys Hernando, Nicole Martinez and Rina Carvajal from MOAD, members of Forensic Architecture here and there, friends who helped through this process, Ines for reading this statement, and you all for coming.
Mostly though I would like to thank our partner communities who continue to resist violent state and corporate practices and who are increasingly exposed to the regime of “security algorithms”—a form of governance that aims to map, monitor, and—all too often—police their movements and their struggles for safety and justice.
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Barozzi Veiga to design campus for mainstay Miami nonprofit Oolite Arts

Miami nonprofit Oolite Arts has hired Spanish firm Barozzi Veiga to design its new headquarters. The 36-year-old group, formerly known as ArtCenter/South Florida, purchased a warehouse property in the city’s Little Haiti-Little River neighborhood, according to the Miami Herald, and plans to build a $30 million center boasting artists’ studios, a theater, a maker space, and classrooms for professionals and the public.  “Miami’s visual arts community has grown exponentially over the past decade, and Oolite Arts has transformed its programming to help Miami-based artists grow,” said Dennis School, president and CEO of Oolite Arts, in a press release. “Our new home will enable us to better meet the needs of both visual artists and the community.”  As the Miami Herald notes, Oolite Arts and its old headquarters on Miami Beach’s Lincoln Road Mall once helped revive a once-forgotten strip of land into a thriving commercial and cultural corridor. The nonprofit’s upcoming new space will be located at 75 NW 72nd St. runs along the Florida East Coast Railway and is slated to open in 2022. At 35,000-square-feet, the campus is expected to also bolster the largely industrial area and its surrounding community, a neighborhood that’s been growing with incoming art galleries and arts-related organizations looking for cheaper rent. News of Barozzi Veiga’s selection comes just months after the Barcelona-based studio was announced as the new campus master plan architects for the Art Institute of Chicago, an institution also located over a rail line. The firm’s most recently-completed structure, a museum in Lausanne, Switzerland, additionally dealt with train tracks.  Established in 2004 by Fabrizio Barozzi and Alberto Veiga, the international practice has won numerous awards for its cultural work including the Mies van der Rohe Award for European Architecture for its design of Poland’s Szczecin Philharmonic Hall in 2015. The duo has designed countless projects around the world and a few smaller commissions in the United States, but Oolite Arts will be Barozzi Veiga’s first building in the country.  Miami-based firm Charles Benson will serve as the architect of record on the arts center, and visuals will be released later this year. 
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AN talks to Eyal Weizman about tech in truth-telling ahead of Forensic Architecture’s first U.S. survey

Forensic Architecture has garnered a significant reputation within the field of architecture (they had a major showing at the most recent Chicago Architecture Biennial) and beyond for their work reconstructing violent events perpetrated by state actors and others using architectural tools and emerging technologies. The collective’s work has been displayed everywhere from the courthouse to major art exhibitions, including during this past year’s Whitney Biennial. The video One Building, One Bomb, co-produced with The New York Times, won an Emmy this past year, and in 2018 they were also nominated for the United Kingdom’s prestigious Turner Prize. This month, Forensic Architecture, which is based out of Goldsmiths, University of London, will have its first major U.S. survey; Forensic Architecture: True to Scale will open on February 20 at the Museum of Art and Design at Miami Dade College. Ahead of the Miami exhibition, AN spoke with Forensic Architecture founder Eyal Weizman to discuss the changes of the past decade, the power of technology, and the importance of forensics in a “post-truth” era. Drew Zeiba: Forensic architecture began a decade ago. How has the project changed and how have the tools you use evolved since then? Eyal Weizman: When we started around 2010, it was the beginning of the Arab Spring and the really heartbreaking civil war that came in its wake. Those particular sets of conflicts had a particular texture to them. They happened in an environment that had a lot of mobile phones and in the areas where there's internet connectivity, and where the government’s ability to shut down the internet was not always successful. We started being in an environment where increasingly you had more and more videos around incidents that we could map. It was also the early teens where at the time, in London great protest around tuition fees and then the big protest after the police killing of Mark Duggan in North London. This killing was during a period when police did not yet have dash cams. And ever since, we've seen the introduction of body cams and dash cams to police investigations. If you look today at the conflicts that are taking place, we have several thousand videos, hours long, broadcasting live as things are happening. The sheer media density requires us to use different technologies in order to bring accountability. We have recently developed machine vision and machine learning technologies that, working together with human researcher, can speed up the process of sieving through thousands and thousands and thousands of hours of content coming from confrontations with policing Hong Kong, for example. In relation to police violence, we have now concluded the investigation in Chicago [into the police killing of Harith Augustus] with full body cams available, several dash cams, a CCTV, etc. We are working in a much more media-saturated environment and need new tools like artificial intelligence to help us identify materials like our work on Warren Kanders that used machine learning. [Kanders is the ousted vice chairman of the board of the Whitney Museum, whose company Safariland sells tear gas used at the U.S.-Mexico border, in Gaza, and elsewhere, including in U.S. cities such as Baltimore and Ferguson, Missouri.] We're creating virtual reality sites for witnesses to walk through the scene of the together with the psychologists and lawyer and protection, but can also recall events. And we are trying to be at cutting edge of technologies that would help social movement and civil society to invert the balance of epistemological power, against the monopoly of knowledge that states have over information in battlefields and in crime scenes. The abundance of images also has to do with the increasing presence of surveillance—including by CCTV cameras and police body cams, as you mention. How can architectural and technological tools invert the power relationship embedded in some of these commonplace image-making tools? Forensics have to be in the hands of the people. Forensics was developed as a state tools, as a form of state power, as a police tool. But when the police is the agency that dispenses violence and the agency that's investigating it, we have a problem. We absolutely need to be able to have independent groups holding police to account. And what we have is our creativity and we can effectively mobilize and make more of much fewer bits of data and image, because we're working aesthetically and we work socially with those independent groups in producing evidence. We socialize the production of evidence, we make it a collective social practice that involves the communities that are experiencing state violence continuously. At the same time, Forensic Architecture often works in places where there is seemingly a limited amount of the evidence or data that investigators typically rely upon, or with evidence that is biased. Police body cams show the officer’s perspective only, for example. Your work is coming at a time that people are describing as “post-truth.” How does the work of Forensic Architecture fit in to this political context? The very nature of what we call investigative aesthetics is based on working with weak signals and with partial data. You need to fill that gap with a relation between those points you have, sort of like stars in a dark sky. You see very few dots and we need to actually see how they can support the probability of something to have occurred. And any investigative work that comes from the point of view of civil society is both about demolishing and building. So we need to use our training as critical scholars in deconstructing police statements, or military statements taken by secret services or the government—and we need to take those ruins, those scattered bits of media flotsam that exist and build something else with it. There’s always demolition and rebuilding that takes place. That is very structural to our work. Right now, the mistrust in public institutions in the political sphere, In the so-called post-truth era, that trust is not being replaced. Those that tell us not to believe anymore in science and in think tanks and in experts are not building a new epistemology in its stead. They're simply demolishing it. Rhetoric replaces verification. What we do similarly to them is we are questioning state given truths. We are attacking those temples of power and knowledge, but we attempt to replace them with a much more imminent form of evidence production that socializes the production of that evidence.
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Plans for David Beckham's Freedom Park come to life in new renderings

New visuals have surfaced for David Beckham’s $966 million soccer campus in Miami ahead of a crucial vote next week to decide the fate of the site it would be built on. The last update on the design of Miami Freedom Park was unveiled last September by local firm Arquitectonica. While the most recent vision for the 131-acre site largely mirrors that master plan, the look of the 26,000-seat stadium, and its surrounding landscape, has been altered slightly. Details now show a new undulating cover for the crown jewel soccer stadium, complete with an exposed area featuring a rooftop bar and palm trees. The proposed 1-million-square feet of commercial and office space, as well as the numerous sports fields, hotel, and 58-acre public park, are still included in the plans, but a new video released by Inter Miami FC, Beckam’s budding MLS team, brings the entire site to life.  The crux of the problem facing Beckham’s project is figuring out whether it's ready for lease approval. The goal is to establish a 99-year contract on the site, atop the 59-year-old Melreese public golf course, with Beckham's venture-partner Jorgé Mas as the only leaseholder. Last year, 60 percent of Miami locals voted to get rid of competitive bidding for the property, effectively allowing the potential single-entity leaseholder to exist. The Miami Herald noted that without completed land appraisals, as well as a proper environmental remediation plan, it’d be difficult to determine a fair market rate rent next week. Some have said the upgraded visuals are a last-ditch attempt by Beckham and his venture partners to persuade the city that the stadium complex will be beneficial to the community. On Tuesday, the Miami City Commission will discuss the unfinished lease and whether to end negotiations for the project. One commissioner even wants to open a competitive bid instead to build a luxury golf resort on Freedom Park’s proposed location.  Despite this, Inter Miami FC is still expected to begin its first season in 2020 and will play home matches at a temporary site atop the former Miami Fusion stadium in Fort Lauderdale. Freedom Park is slated to be completed in 2022.
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Foster + Partners tops Apple Aventura with wavy white precast roof

Foster + Partners has broken out of its traditional glass-box bubble and designed a different kind of Apple Store—one that’s arguably distinct because it wasn’t built in a major city center, or within another development (and doesn't resemble a Macbook). Apple Aventura in Aventura, north of Miami is a piece of actual mall architecture that ripples above and beyond its predecessors in terms of design.  Located in a new wing of the posh Aventura Mall, the two-story building isn’t a huge departure from the firm’s other work for Apple. It is, in fact, boxy and of course includes trees inside. But the undulating white concrete roof evokes a certain feeling of fluidity in the bayside shopping center that doesn’t exist elsewhere.  “We love the honesty and purity of the concrete,” said Stefan Behling, head of studio at Foster + Partners in a press release.  Behling and the design team worked closely with Jonathan Ive, the former chief design officer of Apple. They said the building’s exterior design mimics Miami’s white art deco-style architecture, as well as its nautical design scene. “This store is very ‘Miami’ to me,” said Ive. “Its special trees, the light, and the new roof. It is also quintessentially Apple, marrying the outdoor lifestyle with a sense of freedom and creativity that is intrinsic to the way we work.”  According to Foster + Partners, the wavy roof design was made from seven precast concrete arches that together form a barrel-vaulted ceiling. The entire structure is held up by steel columns each covered with another thin architectural precast column that's also painted white. Per other Apple stores, this one boasts floor-to-ceiling glass windows, revealing all the activity within the stop.  The result is a light-filled Apple store that actually breaks a big design boundary for the tech giant: Of all its retail spaces, the building is the only one to use precast concrete as a predominant structural material. The idea was first introduced within Apple’s Cupertino headquarters, also known as Apple Park, in 2017. Inside Apple Ventura, the ground-floor is decked out with rows of elongated wooden tables that serve as Apple’s signature product displays. A large terraced seating area anchors one end of the store, allowing guests to relax while waiting for their Genius Bar appointments or to secure space for an in-store event. The flight of interior steps is outfitted with leather seating and charging stations.  Outside the store, a densely planted garden features teak tables and chairs that seamlessly reference the interior architecture. Customers can also hang out in the shade of the outdoor “Genius Grove” while they wait for assistance.  The Apple Aventura store is situated just steps away from the spiraling Aventura Slide Tower by Carsten Höller, a 93-foot-tall piece of public art that's among the most famed parts of the 2.8-million-square-foot shopping campus. The entire site is the second-largest mall in America.

Drawing Codes: Experimental Protocols of Architectural Representation, Volume II

Presented by the University of Miami School of Architecture and California College of the Arts / Digital Craft Lab Curated by Andrew Kudless and Adam Marcus Emerging technologies of design and production have opened up new ways to engage with traditional practices of architectural drawing. This exhibition, the second volume in a series organized by the CCA Digital Craft Lab, features experimental drawings by architects who explore the impact of new technologies on the relationship between code and drawing: how rules and constraints inform the ways we document, analyze, represent, and design the built environment.
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West Palm Beach deploys "Baby Shark" against the homeless

In a strange attempt to deter homeless people from camping out at a waterfront pavilion (and a great example of hostile urbanism), authorities in West Palm Beach, Florida have been blasting children’s songs from a public address system on loop overnight. The Lake Pavilion, which is adjacent to a public park and a promenade facing the Intracoastal Waterway, regularly hosts private events that rake in around $240,000 each year. The low-slung building has floor-to-ceiling windows and an expansive terrace that make it particularly popular with guests, especially as a wedding venue. West Palm Beach Director of Parks and Recreation Leah Rockwell told the Palm Beach Post that playing such recent hits as "Baby Shark" and "Raining Tacos" on a continuous loop is necessary to keep the event space “clean and open” for paying customers.

The decision to weaponize music against those who sleep on the property highlights Palm Beach County’s relatively pronounced homelessness problem. West Palm Beach alone accounts for a large portion of the county’s 1,400 homeless people, whose plight has been exacerbated by a lack of affordable housing in the Greater Miami Area. According to a report published by the Miami Urban Future Initiative, the metropolitan region’s enormous housing stock of 2.5 million units consists primarily of high-priced condominiums and single-family homes. Greater Miami, which encompasses urban centers like Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach, ranks among the top ten most expensive rental markets in the nation.

While hostile architecture is nothing new, West Palm Beach’s deployment of "Baby Shark" against the homeless has generated considerable pushback from both locals and observers across the country. Critics argue that the city should focus its resources on support for the unsheltered, but Rockwell insists that the music is only a temporary solution. Once the park’s hours are finalized, she says, the municipal government will be better equipped to control who is at the pavilion during nighttime hours. It is unclear, however, how targeting the homeless for trespassing will resolve the broader issues at hand. It's also worth noting that this type of sonic warfare is nothing new; retail stores and local governments across the U.S. have been playing high-pitched squeals that only young people can hear to deter loitering teens for decades. Another place music is played all night long to deter sleeping? Guantanamo Bay, where the government has reportedly used non-stop rock, metal, and children's song playlists to keep detainees up for days on end.