Posts tagged with "Downtown Miami":

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Inside Zaha Hadid Architects’ under-construction One Thousand Museum in Miami

When 62 floors accommodate 83 living units, you can presume listings will not include the words “cozy” and “poky.” This, along with the fact that Zaha Hadid Architects’ (ZHA) residential high-rise in Downtown Miami is virtually column-free inside, residents can expect plenty of room—and a glass fiber reinforced concrete (GFRC) panel or two.

Located on the water’s edge and overlooking Herzog & de Meuron’s Pérez Art Museum, ZHA’s One Thousand Museum’s curvaceous exoskeleton makes a statement. In accordance with the vernacular of condominium buildings in the city, the structural framework is all white, but that’s where the building’s flirtation with Miami modernism ends.

Instead of the once-standard stucco-and-white-paint procedure, GFRC comprises the exoskeleton’s casing. “There was an idea from the start that we wanted the architectural and structural expression to be synthesized,” said Chris Lépine, associate director at ZHA. “We wanted a very fluid exoskeleton.”

Manufactured in Dubai by cladding fabricators Arabian Profiles, 4,800 pieces of GFRC are in the process of being shipped to South Florida. Upon arriving in the Port of Miami, they are taken west to Doral, Florida, to be processed, then back to a prep yard in Miami, and finally onto the construction site.

GFRC was first used by ZHA on the Heydar Aliyev Center in Baku, Azerbaijan, where the material was used purely for cladding. In Miami, however, GFRC acts as formwork for poured concrete. This casing is assembled off-site to ensure quality control and continues its use as the exoskeleton’s finish. “It is all part of the building process, it’s not simply a cosmetic piece,” said Lépine.

Billowing at the base, gill-like forms comprise the tower’s eight parking levels. The gills act as such, providing natural ventilation to the garage area while also instigating a sense of verticality at street level. The curves coalesce and continue their way up the building, bulging at around two-thirds of the way up. Like the GFRC casing, this too was not an aesthetic choice. The wider section accommodates the structural load of the 54 floors above, including a rooftop helipad and a two-story penthouse at what Lépine described as the building’s “crown.”

While serving as a structural device and taking on the typical billowing form ascribed to Hadid’s aesthetic, the exoskeleton also produces wide-open floorplans. “We wanted it, to a degree, to reflect what was going on inside the building,” said Lépine. In addition to the penthouse, there are eight full-floor apartments and 70 half-floor units.

Much of the enclosure is set back from the face of the exoskeleton with the glazing system being abutted and sealed to the structure, thus allowing for apartments to be self-shaded. The exoskeleton is expressed inside with the GFRC entering apartments. It can also be touched. (There’s no fear of heat loss through thermal bridging in Miami.) Balconies are further recessed, “almost created as depressions behind the structure,” Lépine said, and result in the glass facade folding and faceting behind. “There is a nice interplay between the two materials, as well as with how light casts down upon the structure and fenestration,” he added.

Aside from palatial living units, One Thousand Museum is laden with luxury amenities: thirty thousand square feet of communal areas, including a two-story aquatic center, a sky lounge, a multimedia theater, a wellness spa, gym facilities, and a private event space—naturally, a “bank quality” vault is also included.

Ground broke on the building in December 2014. During the summer of 2015, one thousand trucks rolled onto site to pour 9,500 cubic yards of concrete in 24 hours to start the One Thousand Museum’s foundational work. The building is currently due for completion in 2018.

Resources

Developers: Louis Birdman, Gregg Covin, Kevin Venger, and the Regalia Group

Structural Engineer: DeSimone Consulting Engineers Construction: Plaza Construction Landscape Design: Enea Landscape Architecture Local Architect: O’Donnell Dannwolf & Partners Architects Interior Lighting:  Uli + Friends
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Miami’s Frost Museum of Science by Grimshaw aims to be paragon of sustainable architecture

Miami’s new science museum will open its doors on May 8, 2017. The Phillip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science (or Frost Science, for short), which sits Miami's Downtown Museum Park, is part of Miami-Dade County’s initiative to make Miami a “cultural hub.” The 250,000-square-foot campus—designed by London-based Grimshaw Architects, who worked with local firm Rodriguez and Quiroga—is divided into four entities: the Planetarium, Aquarium, North Wing, and West Wing, which will include exhibit space, the Learning Center, the museum’s Science Store, and a museum café. The building is designed to be an exhibit itself, with examples of sustainable building practices and local wildlife. A rooftop urban farm and “Living Core” will be dedicated to showcasing native vegetation, while a solar terrace of photovoltaic panels will supply the building with energy. As part of the museum’s Everglades exhibit, there will also be an on-site wetland. These features should help the project achieve its expected LEED Gold rating. “The technology, engineering, and sustainability features found throughout the museum rival those on a global stage and will inspire and motivate generations to come,” said Frank Steslow, Frost Science President, in a press release. “Our goal is that Frost Science will be an international destination and vibrant educational space that encourages curiosity and investigation.” On top of the building’s built-in experiences, the museum will also feature exhibits on the history of flight, from dinosaurs to aerospace engineering, and the physics of light, and will, of course, provide ample opportunities to engage with local wildlife at the three-level aquarium. The museum is currently in its final stages of construction, awaiting the arrival of its new inhabitants. For more information about the museum’s exhibits or to purchase tickets, visit their website here.
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Eight years in, how has Miami’s form-based code primed the city for unprecedented growth?

Over the past 15 to 20 years, Miami has become a city of condo dwellers, a shift that transformed the cityscape’s pattern of suburban sprawl and single family houses under palm trees to coastline-following mountain ranges of luxury towers that reach for the sky. In the 1980s, the Golden Girls lived in a house, but when the Kardashians came to town, they chose a condo in South Beach. 

As more people flooded into Miami’s urban areas, the city took action to help new buildings and infrastructure adapt to the urban shift. In 2008, Miami approved Miami 21, the first New Urbanist zoning code to be applied to a large, preexisting city.  The form-based code was applied to a citywide rezoning and was a huge test for an urban planning movement that is more common in small towns like Seaside, Florida, the famous Truman Show locale. The code, enacted as the growing city was quickly running out of land, has led to a reassessment of how Miami works, and has prompted a more logical regeneration of the city’s urban core.

New and old Miamians are moving into towers in areas around Downtown, like Edgewater, Brickell, and Midtown. Buildings are being built for people, not cars. Street frontages are activated. Parking garages are hidden.

Traffic, however, is getting worse. Mobility suffers with inadequate mass transit, yet people keep coming as international appeal remains as high as ever. As Miami’s density increases, the city needs more effective mass transit. Miami’s growth is reaching a breaking point that infrastructure, backed by new policy, is designed to address.

MiamiCentral, a massive new train station and mixed-use mega project, is being built in the center of Downtown Miami where an older train station, demolished half a century ago, once stood. The new station, with residential, commercial, and retail space, started as a terminal for an intra-metropolitan area high-speed rail line that in a few years will take passengers to Orlando in about three hours. MiamiCentral will also be the terminus for a new spur of Greater Miami’s commuter rail system, Tri-Rail, which will bring commuter rail into downtown for the first time.

Other new transit improvements are being considered across the city and the greater metropolitan area, including an expanded trolley bus system, a westward rail connection, a northeast light-rail corridor, and a light-rail line connecting to Miami Beach across Biscayne Bay.

Although one of Miami’s newer claims to fame, or at least notoriety, is high-design parking garages, excessive parking requirements meant for a world where everyone has a car are outdated. Parking is a persistent issue with Miami 21, as standard parking minimums are unchanged from the previous auto-oriented zoning code. The requirement to build 1.5 parking spaces per unit means that infill construction on Miami’s standard-sized 50-foot lots is unnecessarily costly and physically impractical, if not downright impossible, once driveways are considered.

Last October, the city passed a new rule that allows up to 50 percent parking reductions in transit-accessible areas with a 100 percent reduction for buildings under 10,000 square feet. The changes aim to encourage the small-scale infill urbanism that so often forms the basic building blocks of successful older cities. The main advocate behind the reduction, developer Andrew Frey, is building a small infill development without parking in Little Havana that he hopes will inspire others.

As new neighborhoods grow, special zoning districts are being created to suit them. In Wynwood, Miami’s famed mural district, the existing industrial zoning became increasingly unsuitable for a creative neighborhood where people live, work, and go out. A requirement for live-work housing created large and expensive units, not the smaller, more affordable housing that locals desired. Street conditions were basic and not conducive to the pedestrian-driven neighborhood. Last year, the Wynwood Business Improvement District commissioned a master plan that became the Wynwood Neighborhood Revitalization District zoning overlay in July 2015. The code’s standards weren’t adequate for the evolving neighborhood, but a provision allows for these kinds of overlays.

Since the implementation of Miami 21, neighborhood groups and developers have created overlays like the Wynwood Neighborhood Revitalization Districts and Special Area Plans (a similar tool developers use when creating a large assemblage) to create neighborhood-appropriate zoning. Miami 21’s revisions at the neighborhood scale demonstrate both its flexibility and imperfections, but it clearly creates a nuanced framework for the city that’s simultaneously logical citywide and hyperlocal to the human scale.

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Pedestrian-friendly makeover proposed for Downtown Miami

New towers seem to be cropping up in Downtown Miami every 15 minutes. But with the growing housing supply of apartments, and the impressive Perez Art Museum by Herzog & de Mueron, the area continues to be seriously lacking when it comes to walkability and open space. Now, that could change if a proposal by the Miami Downtown Development Authority (DDA) gets the green light. The plan, called Biscayne Green designed by Behar Font & Partners, would completely overhaul six blocks of Biscayne Boulevard—a nearly 200-foot-wide roadway that runs between downtown and Bayfront Park. The most significant change would be replacing the existing surface-level parking lot in the middle of the boulevard with a series of parks and plazas. This linear park is intended to become a human-scaled public place that offers easy connections to the waterfront park. And a whole lot more. The DDA said it would support the existing sidewalk design by world-famous landscape architect Roberto Burle Marx. And it would add to it with new paving technologies like solar pavers that light up when people step on them. There would also be programmable lighting systems to illuminate the new landscape, art installations, building rooftops, and water features. This influx of light would, according to the official plan, lead travelers flying above Downtown Miami to say things like this: "What are those lighted colors on the sidewalks/pavers below? – let’s visit [Downtown Miami]." Along with the cool lighting fixtures, Biscayne Green would also house exercise areas, markets, cafes, sports courts, and retail kiosks. Kids would get a sandbox and their parents, a "grown-up playground." To make room for the grown-up playground and all the rest of it, the DDA creates a below-grade parking lot. CityLab noted that while surface-level parking spots would be reduced from 400 to 200, the new subterranean lot would have space for 357 more cars, giving Downtown Miami 150 new parking space. So far, Florida's DOT seems generally supportive of the plan. A representative from the department told Miami Today: “As state transportation partners, we find the DDA’s vision to be pedestrian friendly, aesthetically pleasing and in line with the department’s Complete Streets vision."