Miami Architecture – Art Basel 2018 Edition

So much talk about art, culture and food during Art Basel and Art Week 2018, but we can’t forget Miami’s amazing architecture.  In this special Art Basel 2018 – Architecture Edition, I am including national sources that talk about our architecture – nothing like hearing about us from a third party.

For those of you who ask about what to visit when you come to Miami, this is a great list to get you started.

Architectural Digest – Inside the Biltmore Miami’s Massive Renovation

In 1926, developer George Merrick’s vision of a Mediterranean city was coming to life and The Biltmore Hotel, modeled after a Spanish castle, was the first building that went up in Coral Gables and was the tallest building in Florida at the time.  It was finished in one year and its tower was based on The Giralda in Seville.

The Biltmore just underwent a $25 Million renovation which was challenging and included renovation and restoration efforts.

In Miami, where new hotels and residential towers sprout from Collins Avenue like mushrooms overnight and starchitect-designed fashion flagships appear out of thin air in the shiny new Design District, it’s easy to forget this is a city with actual history. But the circa-1926 Biltmore, which emerges triumphantly from the quiet, monied streets of historic Coral Gables, is proving otherwise. What’s old really can be new again. The secret? A $25 million renovation.

To read the full article from Architectural Digest, click HERE.

The New York Times – In Miami, Embracing the Bold and Brilliant in Architecture

The New York Times lists some of our architectural gems and reinforces why A-listers flock to Miami and how Miami has become more than its acclaimed Art Deco District.

Fitting for a place that cherishes A-listers, virtually every celebrity architect in the world, and many rising stars, have built there in the last decade. The big names include Frank Gehry, Rem Koolhaas, Zaha Hadid, Herzog & De Meuron, Grimshaw, César Pelli, Richard Meier, Arquitectonica, Rafael Moneo, Jean Nouvel and Bjarke Ingels. The impressive results are scattered citywide, from Miami Beach to the thriving Design District. And if you like parking garages, the city now boasts what is probably the most thrilling collection in the world.

Faena Forum by OMA

Located in Miami Beach’s “Mid Beach” area, The Faena Forum was designed by OMA and is the heart of a multiplot development that includes hotels, condos, a retail bazaar and a parking garage. The Faena District has revived that area of Miami Beach to magnificent splendor.

The stark white Forum consists of an interlinked cylinder and cube, both cut with varied jewel-shaped windows and containing daylight-filled theaters, exhibit halls and meeting rooms. A large wedge cut under the cylinder opens up a landscaped plaza along Collins Avenue and creates a dramatic entry.

New World Center by Frank Gehry

We have talked about Gehry’s New World Symphony for years.  From its gehrification, to our first tour, to events and the evolution of its space – here’s a building that changed Lincoln Road, and possibly Miami Beach’s landscape.

Frank Gehry’s rectangular white building first appears uncharacteristically restrained for the architect. But it’s full of the architect’s folds, crinkles and sail-like forms inside, allowing voyeuristic glimpses (particularly at night) through the entry facade’s 80-foot-tall glass wall. An adjacent surface showcases abstract video projections, movies and even concert simulcasts.

1111 Lincoln Road is the designer parking lot that created dialogue,controversy and lots of buzz! This is a “must visit” when you come to Miami.  Sexy exposed concrete, a sculpture in the landscape, a futuristic vision that makes me proud of Miami’s evolution.

a futuristic parking garage along the bustling outdoor Lincoln Road Mall. Its exposed concrete frame, with sharply tapered floor slabs and surprisingly varied ceiling heights, creates a mesmerizing, malleable form that reveals the movement of cars within and creates room for large events. It contains stores on its ground level and even a glass-walled, terraced penthouse on top.

Still under construction, Miami has been anticipating the completion of Zaha Hadid’s first US residential tower, One Thousand Museum.  We have also been documenting its “zahadification” and it will become a welcomed part of Miami’s skyline.

The 62-story luxury condo building stretches upward like an angry alien, morphing and exposing its metallic innards as it hulks over the city. The building’s curved concrete exoskeleton, which becomes thicker and thinner as needed, in fact acts as a structural frame, leaving the high-end units inside virtually column-free.

PAMM by Herzog & De Meuron

The Perez Art Museum Miami is one of my favorite places in Miami.  It’s the place I go to disconnect and find balance. The energy of the museum, it’s exposed concrete, vertical gardens and location is short of breathtaking.

The intricate edifice features a series of floating concrete galleries, ensconced in thick (sometimes hanging) vegetation, shaded by an intricately gridded canopy. It opens to the waterfront, and an adjacent park, via a wide veranda and open stairs.

This one took some time to finish because of budget issues which created tons of anticipation. Now that it’s finished, don’t know how we ever existed without it.  Seriously, there’s a new vista, detail or experience every time I visit the museum.  I can’t take enough photos of it and Miami from its location and is another “must see” when you visit Miami.

Inside, the village-like compilation of structures opens purposefully to the elements, centering on an open courtyard filled with breezes. The highlight is an enormous suspended “martini glass” containing a 500,000-gallon aquarium. A globe-shaped planetarium acts as a Death Star-like foil to all this pleasant lightness.

Museum Garage in Miami’s Design District

Here’s a wow building that continues redefining parking garages in Miami. It’s a seven story, cast concrete structure with commissioned art work as cladding! Nope, that’s not a typo, you will drive around the parking lot and its facade will have evident themes that will shock you (in a good way I hope).

For its surface, the architect and curator Terence Riley commissioned the designers WORKac, J. Mayer H, Clavel Arquitectos, Nicolas Buffe and his own firm, K/R, to carry out what he calls “Exquisite Corpse,” a mash-up of strange, wildly inspired wall-mounted art pieces. “Ant Farm” combines colorful graphics with perforated peeks at the antlike movement of people and cars behind. “Urban Jam” hangs 45 metallic gold and silver car bodies like Tetris pieces. “Barricades” is a mismatched grid of white and bright orange traffic barriers

City View Garage by IwamotoScott and Leong Leong

The parking garage saga continues with this insane structure that you need to experience from inside.  It’s all about the play of light and shadows as well as textures and it’s also in Miami’s Design District.

The bluish eastern facade of the garage consists of a woven series of diamond-shaped aluminum panels, with apertures of varying sizes. You’ll keep changing your mind about whether they’re two- or three-dimensional. Its western frontage consists of a punched and bent stainless-steel surface, kind of like hanging chads, or a menacing cheese grater. From below, it (appropriately?) recalls the bumpy base of a palm tree, and from inside, it creates a hypnotic kaleidoscope of light and shadow.

ICA Miami – Institute of Contemporary Art

Facades that give you goosebumps, with incredible purpose for the community, that’s what we’re talking about! Also in Miami’s Design District and designed by Aranguren & Gallegos as their first project in the U.S., here’s one you need to visit (Am I saying this about all of them?).

As with the Art Deco legends of Miami Beach, the building’s main facade acts as signage, pulling people in with its geometrically arranged, pearlescent metal panels. Some are set back to make the whole building appear to glow from within at night, while elegant metallic lettering below is an effective branding coup. Inside, galleries fill three flexible, double-height levels, luminously lighted via the building’s all-glass north facade, which opens onto a rear plaza.

To read the full article from The New York Times, click HERE.

The Miami Herald – An overlooked bit of South Beach is springing back to life. Think SoBe for grown-ups.

Here’s a really comprehensive article about Collins Park by Andres Viglucci from The Miami Herald.  From history, to challenges and evolution.

After years of quiescence and a series of catastrophic arson fires that nearly claimed some of its defining 1920s and ‘30s architecture, the compact district centered around The Bassmuseum and its namesake Collins Park is about to bloom anew. It’s like finding a secret room in your house you didn’t know was there.

Andres explains its trasformation and it makes you feel good to be a Miamian.  What’s best is that all the fights, the roadblocks and the frustrations become worth it. So let’s continue fighting the good battle for good design and historic restoration!

By the time Art Basel Miami Beach opens its 2019 fair, formerly down-at-the-heels Collins Park should be well into its transformation into a neighborhood of stylish hotels dotted with dining spots, gardens, hidden courtyards and rooftop swimming pools and lounges. Like the Collins Park Hotel, each of the district renovations aims to restore and combine historic buildings into boutique hotels with modern, sensitively scaled annexes to provide the suite of amenities guests now expect.

To read the full article from The Miami Herald, click HERE.

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