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.
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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.
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.
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).