The style of architecture known as "mid-century modern" is a cousin to the "International style." A popular combination of European stylistic tendencies and domestic American influences, including furniture design, it has become an influential catch all term for distinguished post-World War II structures and commercial tract homes (like the Eichler Homes). While the style has become widely popular in lifestyle magazines like Dwell and even replicated in new suburban developments, the original homes are being regularly torn down and being replaced with bloated McMansions that have shoe closets the size of the former mid-century living rooms. But the style has a huge following and a number of organizations to highlight and preserve is monuments. Docomomo has been in the lead highlighting these structures and Palm Springs was one of the first city to host a "modernism week." The latest city to create a week of activities devoted to the style is Sarasota, Florida, which along with Palm Springs and New Canaan, Connecticut, were experimental centers of the style. The Florida city also had a gifted number of architects working in the style: Paul Rudolph and his early mentor Ralph Twitchell, Gene Leedy, Victor Lundy, Tim Seibert, and Carl Abbott. The four day event of lectures, city and house tours that took place this fall was a model of how a community can highlight its unique but disappearing history. The week was created the Sarasota Architectural Foundation (founded by Martie Lieberman, a realtor who specializes in the style of homes) which is trying to promote the city's modern architecture. It hopes to raise awareness of the style so its buildings can be preserved, updated, and even become a model of a future architecture that is more responsive to needs and demands than the typical McMansion. Sarasota prides itself on its modern history and was a unique crossroads of culture, commerce, and environment after World War II that helped birth this style. The week also highlighted the fascinating figure of Philip Hiss III who moved to the beach community in 1948 and became a major figure in the community. He was chair of its education department (which commissioned Paul Rudolph to design two high schools) and a developer of the modernist community Lido Shores. The Foundation is hoping to make their week an annual affair and the area has the modern assets to make it work.
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This week an already roiling real estate market in Chicago's West Loop got hotter still. The latest entrant is a $400 million mixed-use tower designed by Goettsch Partners—a 350-room, four-star hotel beneath about 600,000 square feet of offices that will surely stoke the continued evolution of the area from post-industrial grittiness into a sleek, high-rent hub for technology companies and haute cuisine. Crain's Chicago Business reported Florida-based developer Joseph Mizrachi will further thicken an already competitive field of downtown office space, building on his 2012 acquisition of a 1.1 million-square-foot office tower at 540 West Madison Street. His group, Third Millennium Partners, hopes to start work by mid-2015 on a 1.2 million-square-foot building just to the west, at 590 West Madison Street. Goettsch Partners' design is restrained, concealing its luxury hotel rooms and undoubtedly high-tech offices in tranquil planes of glass, scored with white mullions that stripe the building's bifurcated mass vertically.
As for the crowded market, Crain's says Mizrachi enjoys an advantage over the competition:
Because the foundation already was poured for the new building years ago when a second office tower was planned, the new tower can be built in as little as 20 months, giving Mizrachi's plan an advantage over some competitors, [J.F. McKinney & Associates Executive Vice President Mark] Gunderson said. Work could begin with as little as 200,000 square feet of office space leased in advance, he said.It also might compete by offering office rents slightly lower than its neighbors, which include 52 and 53 story towers from developers Hines Interests and John O'Donnell.
With Art Basel underway, not-quite-yet-starchitect Fernando Romero has unveiled new plans for what could become Miami's next architectural icon: the Latin American Art Museum (LAAM). That's right, this 90,000 square foot, cantilevering structure could overshadow the nearby works of his higher-profile peers like Frank Gehry, Zaha Hadid, and Lord Norman Foster. And Jeanne Gang and Herzog & de Meuron. And also Bjarke Ingels and Enrique Norten, because Romero's—sorry, and Richard Meier and Rem Koolhaas. Okay, that has to be everyone. All starchitects have been accounted for. Where were we? Right, the Latin American Art Museum. Romero's firm, Fernando Romero EnterprisE (FR-EE) has created an arresting structure defined by generous, crisscrossing terraces that provide circulation and open-air gallery space called "sculptural gardens." Together, the rotated squares evoke a deck of cards being shuffled or an uneven stack of plates. “The different levels of the building define LAAM’S program,” FR-EE said in a statement. “The first floor will be reserved to young and emergent artists; the second one will be for temporal exhibitions; the third floor will house a selection of 600 pieces belonging to the permanent collection; finally, a restaurant will crown the top of the building.” In October, the Miami Herald reported that the museum is being funded by local art collector Gary Nader, and that it will heavily draw from his own collection. Right, kind of like George Lucas and his contested museum of narrative art in Chicago. Nader will reportedly build a residential tower on the same piece of property in Downtown Miami to help pay for the museum, which is expected to open in 2016.
Design Miami/, the annual global design forum, has announced that Minneapolis-based designer Jonathan Muecke has been selected to design its pavilion for next month's show. For the coveted commission, Muecke created a cylindrical space accessible through two entrance points. The structure is finished in primary colors: red and green on the inside and blue and yellow on the outside. Within the circle is “seamlessly shaped seating” designed to “allow visitors a moment of quiet reflection.” While the design may seem fairly simple, Design Miami/ thinks the space will really come alive when the Florida sun comes through its translucent tarp, creating a "shifting topography of reflected color.” According to Design Miami/, Muecke’s practice “resists standard divisions between design, art and architecture, instead focusing on refined forms that investigate notions of positive and negative space, positional relationships to structures and the innate desire to read notions of functionality into objects that relate to human scale.” The young designer studied architecture at Iowa State, design at Cranbrook Academy of Art, and interned for Herzog & de Meuron in Basel, Switzerland. Design Miami/, which occurs alongside Art Basel, celebrates its 10th anniversary from December 3–7th. [h/t DawnTown]
In 1948, Paul Rudolph was residing at the American Academy in Rome. He had traveled there to study classical architecture, but was instead spending his days designing modern houses for Sarasota, Florida. In fact, Sarasota, according to Timothy Rohan who has recently published a monograph on Rudolph, made a huge impression on the architect and defined his work for the rest of his career. He had moved there to apprentice and work for the local architect Ralph Twitchell, who in the 1940s helped create a style of modern house that eventually became known as the Sarasota school. The sleepy seaside village had become like Palm Springs, California and New Canaan, Connecticut—a laboratory of modernism—because, as Rohan explains, its "cultured winter time residents were open to architectural experimentation in their second homes." From October 9–12, 2014, the Sarasota Architectural Foundation, will be staging “SarasotaMOD Week[end],” a four-day celebration of the region’s iconic mid-20th-century architecture, particularly its oceanside houses and famous public schools. Leading architects, designers, historians, and authors like Carl Abbott, John Howey, Joe King (co-author of Paul Rudolph: The Florida Houses), Lawrence Scarpa, Tim Seibert, landscape architect Raymond Jungles, and author, critic, and filmmaker Alastair Gordon will explore the ongoing impact of this movement through presentations, panel discussions and tours. For more information and to register for the weekend, click here.
And you can now add Rem Koolhaas to the ever-growing list of starchitects designing luxury condos in Miami. Curbed Miami recently attended the unveiling of the Dutchman’s luxury project at Coconut Grove, which is rising conspicuously close to a project by his former student, Bjarke Ingels. Conspicuously close. But since this is Miami, Koolhaas was not the only starchitect vying for the project, known as Park Grove. He had to beat proposals from Christian de Portzamparc, Jean Nouvel, and Diller Scofidio + Renfro. On the roughly 6-acre site, Koolhaas creates three 20-story cylindroid towers of glass and what appears to be concrete. The structures’ floor-to-ceiling windows—no surprise there, this is oceanfront Miami after all—are separated by vertical columns that subtly undulate as they rise. A similar design element is incorporated into Herzog & de Meuron’s luxury condos on the other side of town. Park Grove also resembles the Swedes’ latest condo project in New York City, which similarly has a rolling, curving facade. In total, the project includes 298 units and three acres of green space. The most dramatic part of this project are the towers’ multi-story, green roof–topped bases, which house commercial tenants. In at least one of the structures, the grassy topper appears to rise into the tower itself. The project, overall, though is surprisingly restrained—appearing more like a collection of stock Miami apartment towers than the latest work of one of the world’s most acclaimed architects. Either way, the luxury condos at Park Grove are not going to run cheap. The project includes interiors by William Sofield and landscapes by Enzo Enea. And real estate brokerage firm Douglas Elliman said the project has a "sense of tropical urbanism." Construction on the project is slated to break ground next year.
With another set of renderings revealed for Florida's upcoming commuter rail service, it's clear that SOM hopes to give the system a highly recognizable visual brand. After the firm unveiled plans for All Aboard Florida's Miami Station, which floats the rails 50-feet above grade on trusses, SOM and Zyscovich Architects revealed its design for the smaller Ft. Lauderdale station, which clearly borrowed heavily from the first. The 27,500-square-foot hub is also defined by reinforced concrete trusses. And today, with images released for the West Palm Beach station, we know those trusses aren't going anywhere. The West Palm Beach station sits on a 2.5-acre site located in the city's downtown and is designed to link commuters to the state's Tri-Rail system and the Amtrak West Palm Beach station. As with Ft. Lauderdale, this station is comprised of glass and concrete boxes that lift above grade atop reinforced V-shaped braces. The stations' similar designs is not on accident. "A common material palette, design aesthetic, and planning strategy unite the three facilities," SOM said in a statement. "Envisioned not only as gateways to their respective cities, but also as iconic destinations in their own right, the three stations are positioned to become centers of gravity for significant urban redevelopment." Passenger service could start as early as 2016.
In May, SOM released renderings for Miami Station—a 1,000-foot-long, multimodal transit hub that would anchor the Sunshine State’s impending high-speed commuter rail system known as All Aboard Florida. The firm floated the station 50 feet atop reinforced concrete trusses to allow for restaurants and retail, and an uninterrupted street grid. Now, with the Miami station getting underway, SOM has unveiled plans for the system's Ft. Lauderdale station, and it appears that a design trend is emerging down in Florida. At first glance, the 27,500-square-foot station, designed by SOM and Zyscovich Architects is just a smaller version of the first go-round in Miami as it is similarly defined by concrete trusses and lifted above grade. It is primarily comprised of stacked glass boxes that rise over the street and connect the ticketing lobby to the departures area. "Given the large scale of the All Aboard Florida project, creating a sense of overall unity for the entire transportation network – while conveying a sense of identity for each individual station – is one of the primary design goals," said SOM in a statement. "The design of the Fort Lauderdale station achieves this balance by incorporating the lightness and transparency that characterizes the Miami terminal, while taking advantage of its unique site to create a distinctive landmark for the port city. "Its design—lightweight and luminous—both responds to its setting and creates a striking infrastructural icon for the city," said Roger Duffy, a design partner at SOM, in a statement. This is essentially the same way Duffy described Miami Station when AN sat down with him in June. If it ain't broke... SOM and Zyscovich are also designing All Aboard Florida's stations in Orlando and West Palm Beach, but no word yet on what a design for those stations might look like, or if trusses are slatted for those cities as well.
In the same futuristic spirit of its design, One Thousand Museum, the proposed Zaha Hadid-designed condominium building in Miami, Florida, has recently been rendered in hologram form. As anticipation builds about what will be the Pritzker Prize–winning architect’s first residential building in the United States, Zaha Hadid Architects continued the hype with a Miami party and holographic unveiling of the 705-foot condo tower. According to the South Florida Business Journal, the new digital rendering underscores Hadid’s commitment to curvilinear forms, especially prevalent in this sculptural tower that will soon join the Magic City skyline. Curving exoskeletal ribs over a glazed glass facade define areas of private terraces and balconies, simultaneously creating a space age schematic on the exterior of One Thousand Museum. The facade also gives volume; windows sculpt themselves into three-dimension, a crystalline pattern under the curving web. The condo is designed with luxurious amenities for its residents, including a rooftop spa and wellness center on the wide podium base. Situated in the center of the Miami skyline in Bicentennial Park, a downtown area to be renamed “Museum Park” after the December 4th opening of Herzog & de Meuron’s Perez Art Museum Miami, the tower’s double height glass crown will offer spectacular panoramic views of Museum Park, Biscayne Bay, and the Atlantic Ocean. At the recent Miami gathering, hosted by local celebrity architects Gregg Covin and Louis Birdman in the Covin-designed residential building next door to the One Thousand Museum site, architects from Hadid’s firm were present for questions and mingling with privately invited guests, said the Business Journal. Project director Chris Lepine, lead architect Stephan Wurster, and lead designer Michael Powers represented the company and presented the 3D rendering.
A never-before-built Frank Lloyd Wright house has been painstakingly constructed on its original site at Florida Southern College. The 1700-square-foot Usonian house, designed by Wright in 1939 as modest faculty housing, is the 13th structure by the renowned architect to be built on Florida Southern’s campus, but the first since Wright’s death in 1959. The house, which will serve as a museum dedicated to the architect and his work on campus, is the centerpiece of the college’s new Sharp Family Tourism and Education Center. As the largest collection of Frank Lloyd Wright buildings, a National Historic Landmark, and twice-ranked #1 Most Beautiful Campus in America, Florida Southern’s campus draws tens of thousands of visitors each year, all of which will pass through the newly constructed house. The two bedroom house is composed of 1,978 of Wright’s signature, interlocking ceramic textile blocks, handcrafted in 47 distinct shapes by an 81-year old artisan, as well as 6,000 colored glass blocks, each inserted by hand into the ceramic walls. The building’s modest scale, local materials, respect for the natural landscape, and self-consciously American style were meant to embody Wright’s “Usonian” architectural ideals. Along with an array of custom-made fittings and distinctly-Wright built-ins, the house contains reproductions of furniture Wright designed specifically for houses of this type, as well as a portrait of the architect by Yousuf Karsh. Nearby, a life-size bronze statue of Wright by noted artists Don Haugen and Teena Stern was also unveiled at the building’s opening on November 1st. “It is a singular privilege to be stewards of this paramount piece of American architectural heritage,” said college president, Dr. Anne Kerr, in a statement. “Frank Lloyd Wright is not only a part of Florida Southern’s history, but also a part of America's great history, and the Sharp Family Tourism and Education Center is a wonderful tribute to his legacy on our campus and his impact around the world." Aside from the newly constructed house, the college campus contains Wright’s only built planetarium, the only arena-style theater he ever designed, his largest built water feature, and the last specially design stained glass feature of his career.
Last week, the Supreme Court ruled in a five-to-four decision that a Florida water management district violated private property rights by asking a local developer to help finance the environmental mitigation of building on wetlands in exchange for a construction permit. Justice Elena Kagan said the decision might cause a revolution in land-use regulation. “Koontz v. St. Johns River Water Management District” will retain an enduring impact on the capacity for local governments to influence new development. In 1972, developer Coy Koontz purchased a 14.9-acre vacant lot. Due to Florida regulations, all but 1.4 acres of the land became a Riparian Habitat Zone, which could not be developed without permission from St. Johns River Water Management District. In 1994, Koontz sought to construct a shopping center on three acres of his privately owned Florida wetland. While Koontz proposed to lessen the environmental effects of his development proposal by deeding a conservation easement on almost 75 percent of his land, the water management district would only grant Koontz a permit if he scaled down his plan and agreed to fund wetlands-restoration programs. Believing the stipulations to be unjustifiable, he declined the proposal and successfully disputed that the conditions infringed upon his private property rights. While the Florida Supreme Court disagreed, the Supreme Court of the United States sided with Koontz. In the New York Times, Vermont Law School Professor John Echeverria wrote that the verdict may have an unsettling result in terms of land use planning, and that “the ruling creates a perverse incentive for municipal governments to reject applications from developers rather than attempt to negotiate project designs that might advance both public and private goals. Cities and towns across America routinely attach fees and other payment obligations to permits, for example, to support wetlands mitigation banks, to finance roads, to pay for new schools or to build affordable housing.”
Winners are in for the 2013 Landmark Miami competition. In DawnTown's sixth international ideas competition they challenged designers to explore the iconography of cities by creating a new landmark for the future of Miami that could be placed in Bayfront Park. Landmark Miami received over 100 entries from all over the world, including El Salvador, Cuba, Iran, the Philippines, and France. The jury selected three winners plus an honorable mention. 1st Place Project Name: Miami Lift Team Name: Studio Dror Location: New York City From the design team: Miami's extensive beaches, unique culture, and prime location for cruise travel create a cohesive identity, allowing the city itself to be an icon. Miami Lift pays tribute to this by elevating visitors giving them a new perspective of the city. 2nd Place Project Name: Lemonade Square Team Name: REMED Tame Members: David Giraldeau, Alexandre Guilbeault Locations: Montreal From the design team: The concept of Lemonade Square is a perforated platform of 57,600 square feet, floating above the ground. Floating on delicate legs, this museum-like object succeeds at creating superimposed plazas with contemporary characters. The upper level holds giant wading pools and allows people to escape from summer heat. Underneath, a glamorous public place benefits from the surprising sunlight effects and offers to the city a unique contemplative site. 3rd Place Project Name: Torre De Las Americas Team Members: Mauricio Gonzalez, Alfredo Anida Location: Miami/Santiago, Chlie From the design team: The Tower of the Americas is a spatial deluge. It is a vertical flood of platforms that creates an open exhibit that celebrates the diversity of our emergent metropolis. This open tower works with the vertigo of public space. It challenges its visitors as does the Eiffel Tower in Paris. It is a hiking museum. In each one of the platforms different events are generated. The tower is open, thus reducing the resistance to the torque forces generated by the wind. The proposal has a system of Multiple Tunned-Mass-Dampers and very short spans between the chromed columns. This strategy will allow for this tower to be the "tallest-slender tower" building in the world. Honorable Mention Project Name: Great Spirit Woods Team Name: Vojtěch Kolář + VIZarch.cz Team Members: Jakub Frolik & Vojtěch Kolář Location: Brno, Czech Republic From the design team: Great Spirit Woods is located in the southern part of Bayfront Park, which has always been a place of relax and rest. Idea of this proposal is to maintain these values and enrich them. Walking through an artificial forest made of steel columns of a circular cross-section...the highest columns rise up to 500 feet, the whole monumental project also has a function of a lighthouse.