Miami’s real estate market is climbing yet again after a few years of tense halts in new projects following the 2007 recession. Among the towers set to rise in the Magic City's downtown is a residential high-rise designed by Pritzker prize-winner Zaha Hadid, who is also designing a dramatic parking structure in the city. Expectations of the new structure are soaring, and a set of renderings of the tower have recently been released. Developed by local hotshots Gregg Covin and Louis Birdman, the One Thousand Museum luxury condominium will be built amid a row of existing condo towers along Biscayne Boulevard just across from what will soon be Museum Park. Set to open by 2018, the 62-story residential tower consists of 83 units costing anywhere from $4 to $30 million each. Among the highly luxurious features are a helipad and an amenity deck with multiple pools and cabanas. The units are massive and packed with enough features to entertain any Miami sun worshiper during their indoor moments, such as private elevators, media rooms, midnight kitchens, and libraries. Full-floor units will measure approximately 11,000 square feet each and will be available in two distinct layouts. Half floor units will measure 5,400 square feet and townhouse units will measure 8,600 square feet. One Thousand Museum will be Zaha Hadid’s first skyscraper in the western hemisphere, another feather in the cap of Miami’s star-studded renewal.
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Brooks + Scarpa and KZF Design have designed a swooping, lakefront Interfaith Chapel proposal for the University of North Florida’s campus in Jacksonville. The 7,000-square-foot chapel is intended to serve a diverse array of students, faculty, and the surrounding community representing many religious beliefs. It's unique shape, built with a complex bending wooden lattice, is designed as an allegory of Justice, Faith, Hope, Charity, Prudence, and Fortitude. At the top of the chapel's spire, the wooden lattice is pinched together to form a figure-eight, symbolizing infinity, and the structure itself shades a large skylight that will wash the richly-textured interior walls with soft light. The structure's white exterior form is built to resemble a flowing wedding gown. Windows are situated to connect the inside with fundamental points of the Chapel’s surroundings such as a nearby lake, garden, and woods and to highlight celestial elements like the Polaris (aka North Star) viewable at nighttime. Two windows are even situated to offer direct views of the rising sun during the winter and summer solstices. The structure’s unique curvature is made possible by an interlaced wood lamella structural system—originally developed for industrial use due to its durability and long life. Laminated pieces of wood will be joined together at diagonal angles, creating the intricate latticework vault. The chapel also features energy efficient qualities. By allowing only filtered sunlight to enter the skylight, the roof helps insulate and protect against Florida’s intolerable heat and humidity. The building also includes more subtle energy efficient elements: operable windows offer daylight and ventilation; the building is situated to collect prevailing winds; and sun studies determined orientation of glazing. And, ultimately, the chapel enforces a deep connection with spiritual, cosmic, and natural life, giving visitors a chance to reflect and wonder about their values and placement in life and on the planet.
Frank Gehry should be plenty busy with ambitious plans to revitalize downtown Toronto and to expand Facebook’s offices on the boards. Now, Gehry has been commissioned by the National YoungArts Foundation (NYAF) to update one of Miami’s most elegant and historically significant urban spaces: The Bacardi Complex on Biscayne Boulevard. Purchased below market for $10 million by the NYAF—a nonprofit arts organization that helps aspiring high school artists—Gehry will convert the former 3.5 acre corporate campus into a new arts complex. “By acquiring the Bacardi campus we are able to honor and preserve an important part of Miami’s cultural history,” Paul T. Lehr, executive director of YoungArts, said in a statement. Known for his curvaceous object-buildings, Gehry has already addressed obvious concerns from local community members and historic preservationists. “It’s not going to be a building that’s architecturally published in any way,” he told The New York Times, suggesting that his renovations won't include his typical flourishes on the campus' exterior. “But it’s a place I want to go.” A jewel of Miami Modernism (MiMo), the complex houses the beautifully-proportioned, 8-story Bacardi Headquarters Building (1963), a structure that elegantly fuses European, Latin American, and Caribbean Modern influences. Arguably one of Cuban architect Enrique Gutierrez’s best projects (designed in collaboration with Mies van der Rohe), Bacardi quickly became a symbol of hope and nostalgia to Miami’s newly immigrated Cuban community, a burst of intense formal beauty on an otherwise banal Miami streetscape. Its solid north-south facades showcase tropical murals designed by Brazilian artist Francisco Brennand, who used 28,000 6" by 6" hand-painted blue and white ceramic tiles to produce a warm, exotic contrast to the cool, gridded glass facade floating above the street. Behind the tower, a smaller, 2-story annex building nicknamed “The Jewel Box on a Pedestal” (1975) hovers 47-feet above the street. Designed by local Coral Gables architect Ignacio Carrera-Justiz , the Jewel Box also fuses architecture, culture, and art. Its exuberant one-inch thick glass mosaic walls, produced by French stained glass artists Gabriel and Jacques Loire, were designed by German artist Johannes Dietz to reference the rich and complex rum-making process. Miami's Preservation Board designated the complex, including its buildings, “historic” in October 2009, prohibiting demolition and protecting its heritage from insensitive alterations. Gehry, who has long been friends with NYAF's founders, will make interior alterations to accommodate new educational programs, design a new public park, and build a new performing arts center to replace an existing—non-landmarked—office building. “I have been a mentor to some of the YoungArts students and know what a tremendous impact this organization has on them,” Gehry said in a statement. “It’s a privilege to help make a new home for YoungArts, so it can do even more for these wonderful young people.”
Apple takes another bite. Once famous for its oysters, Grand Central will now be known for its Apples. Cult of Mac reports that the computer giant plans to open their biggest retail outlet yet, which will, no doubt be as busy as Grand Central Station. High speed posturing. If you don't want it, we'll take it! That's the message being sent out by Democratic governors to their Republican counterparts who are rejecting infrastructure dollars. Huff-Po's Sam Stein notes that governors from New York, Washington, and California are lining up to take Florida Governor Rick Scott's rejected $2 billion in federal funding for high speed rail line. Goal! One more hurdle to go. DNA reports that Columbia's Baker Field got the green light from the City Planning Commission to build the Steven Holl designed Campbell Sports Center. Part of the plan includes a James Corner/Field Operations-designed park and 17,000 square feet of restored marsh and shoreline. Pool Hall Banking. A 1916 bank building on Philadelphia's Chestnut Street will take on an adaptive reuse that its architect Horace Trumbauer surely never dreamed of. PlanPhilly reports that developer Paul Giegerich is thinking of turning the architect's two story cathedral of commerce into a swanky pool hall with food created by a star (Steven Starr to be exact).