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The University of Miami School of Architecture is proud to announce an upcoming exhibition Less Than Forty Years Old: Young Florida Architects which will showcase the best in Florida architecture and design. It will be on display from October 5 through 28 in the Jorge M. Perez Architecture Center Irvin Korach Gallery. This competition is open to anyone who is practicing in the State of Florida, including architects, landscape architects, and designers. Students in post-professional architecture and landscape degrees are eligible as well. Opening night on October 5 will include a panel discussion in the Perez Center’s Glasgow Lecture Hall at 6:00 p.m., followed by the exhibition and a reception in the Korach Gallery. Submissions of portfolios School of Architecture Announces Major Exhibition from October 5 through 28 The University of Miami School of Architecture is proud to announce an upcoming exhibition Less Than Forty Years Old: Young Florida Architects which will showcase the best in Florida architecture and design. It will be on display from October 5 through 28 in the Jorge M. Perez Architecture Center Irvin Korach Gallery. This competition is open to anyone who is practicing in the State of Florida, including architects, landscape architects, and designers. Students in post-professional architecture and landscape degrees are eligible as well. Opening night on October 5 will include a panel discussion in the Perez Center’s Glasgow Lecture Hall at 6:00 p.m., followed by the exhibition and a reception in the Korach Gallery. Submissions of portfolios are due by August 29 at 12 noon to Professor Jean-Francois Lejeune, Director of Graduate Studies ( Please click on the attachment which contains the complete Call for Submissions with all pertinent information. are due by August 29 at 12 noon to Professor Jean-Francois Lejeune, Director of Graduate Studies ( Please click on the attachment which contains the complete Call for Submissions with all pertinent information.

Miami, FL-May 2, 201Miami, FL-February 2, 2011-DawnTown, the annual International architectural competition, announces that the awards Ceremony for the Miami Marine Stadium Floating Stage Design Competition will be held Monday evening, May 2 at the Rusty Pelican restaurant on Virginia Key.

The event will feature a display of all of the contest entries as well as the announcement of the winner and semi-finalists. There will also be a keynote speech by Frank Sanchis, the Director of the U.S. Programs for the World Monuments Fund. Tickets for the event, which includes a sit down three course dinner, are only $30.

This year’s competition seeks creative architectural ideas for the design of a floating stage to complement the Miami Marine Stadium. The Miami Marine Stadium, located on Virginia Key just five minutes from downtown Miami, has become an internationally recognized icon – now slated for renovation by the City of Miami and a key priority of Miami Mayor Tomas Regalado.

The contest, announced in January, has drawn significant attention. “We’re delighted with the response” said Joachim Perez, Executive Director of DawnTown. “We’re seeing more entries than we have compared to other contests we have run, and there is a lot of international interest as well.”

Built in 1963, the 6,566 seat Miami Marine Stadium has played an important role in the City’s cultural history. Originally built for boat racing, it also hosted many Concerts, Easter Sunrise Services, Television Shows, Political Rallies, and Boxing Matches - all from a floating stage that was towed directly in front of the Stadium. During performances, the Stadium became an “aquatic theatre in the round” -surrounded by the many boats attending the events. The Miami Marine Stadium was shuttered by the City of Miami after Hurricane Andrew in 1992 (though there was no hurricane damage) and has remained closed ever since.

In 2008, a new organization called Friends of Marine Stadium was formed under the aegis of Dade Heritage Trust, Miami-Dade County’s foremost historic preservation organization. The Friends group has successfully focused national and international attention on the structure. The Stadium is now considered an architectural gem. Designated Historic by the City of Miami, the stadium has achieved international recognition through inclusion on the 2009 “11 Most Endangered List” of the National Trust for Historic Preservation and the 2010 Watch List of the World Monuments Fund. Even singer Jimmy Buffett, who performed many concerts there, taped a public service video endorsing restoration of the Marine Stadium. .

DawnTown is fortunate to have Hilario Candela on the judging panel. Candela designed the Stadium at age 28 and is now a leader in the efforts to restore it almost a half century later. “I look forward to receiving the proposed entries to the competition” said Candela, “This is an opportunity to think outside the box, but with a real project.”

The complete Jury for the DawnTown 2011 Floating Stage design competition includes:

Hilario Candela, Architect of the Miami Marine Stadium in1963
Walter Meyer, Principal of Local Office Landscape Architect
Jorge Hernandez, Architect and Co-Founder of Friends of Miami Marine Stadium
Michele Oka Doner, Internationally recognized Artist
Lawrence Scarpa, Principal of Brooks + Scarpa
Frank Sanchis, Director of U.S. Programs of the World Monument Fund 

“We are thrilled with the Floating Stage Design contest” said Don Worth, Co-Founder of the Friends of Marine Stadium, “This is an ‘ideas’ contest and we are hoping to see some great creative concepts that will foster as many different types of events and viewing experiences as possible.” The Friends group is helping to sponsor the contest awards, along with Miami Chapter of the American Institute of Architects, the National Trust for Historic Preservation and Dade Heritage Trust.

Tickets for the event must be purchased by April 25. For more information and to purchase tickets, call Dade Heritage Trust, 305-358-9572



Netherlands based West 8 has finally released their proposed design for Lincoln Park adjacent to the New World Symphony building by Frank Gehry.  More than a year after changing Frank Gehry as the park designer, West 8 has released an exciting design for the urban park in the heart of Miami Beach.

According to the architect’s website:

The Lincoln Park site is small — less than three acres in size. In European public space tradition, a site this small might be composed entirely of hard plaza surface, such as the 3.25-acre Piazza San Marco in Venice, Italy.  Even in American park design, urban parks can have a substantial amount of paved surfaces. Union Square Park in San Francisco is almost the same size as Lincoln Park, and equally positioned in the heart of its city center. It’s a place of gathering and activity and a place of relaxation for residents and visitors. But while Union Square Park has some patches of lawns and small gardens, most of the surfaces are paved plaza.

Given this precedent for urban parks, a question emerged early in the design process for Lincoln Park: should this public space feel like more like a plaza or be “green,” like a park?  What is appropriate for this site, with its future use as a place of gathering, its openness to the intense sun, the availability of a pallet of tropical vegetation, its relationship to a stunning new piece of architecture, and its position within the activity of Miami Beach?

West 8 felt strongly that our mission is to deliver a green park, not a plaza. A park that feels intimate, shady, and soft.  A park that will support the world-class attraction provided by the projection wall on the New World Symphony Building.  A park that reflects the spirit and vitality of Miami Beach.  And a park that will support a multitude of day and night uses, either under the shade of the trees or a starlit sky.

Lincoln Park will also have the wonder of some totally unique features that are one of a kind.  First, there will be several pergolas that embrace the park edges, whose shape is inspired by the puffy cumulous clouds in this tropical climate. This will not only provide shade but will support the bright blooms of bougainvillea vines.  High quality artwork is equally important here, and the projection wall is an ideal “canvas” for video projection artists, an emerging and exciting discipline of art.  Both local and international artists could provide an ever-changing exhibit that would occur outside the walls of a traditional museum experience.

Lincoln Park will actually convey the illusion of a larger park than its small size actually is. This will be achieved by careful manipulation of the topography for a gentle undulation underfoot; by establishing “veils” of palm tree planting that conceal and reveal views; and by creating a mosaic of meandering pathways that lure you through all corners of the Park.

When realized, Lincoln Park will be a unified expression of recreation, pleasure and culture. Combined with the momentum of the New World Symphony’s uses and outstanding architecture, the campus will be a world class destination that marries music, design and experience.


Be sure to check out more images at the West 8 website.  We would love to know your opinion?  Does it standup to the original Frank Gehry design?

image001Head to the Lincoln theater on October 21 and talk with ‘starchitects’ Herzog and DeMeuron about their design for the new Miami Art Museum. While you are there ask them why they designed such an ugly building for our most important local art collection. Gotta say, if I could take back my vote for the GOB bond measure that is helping to pay for this I would. Just another disposable building that will be replaced in 20 years. Sigh.

Architects are such babies. Take Frank Gehry, the overrated star-architect of the New World Symphony in Miami Beach. The Herald  reports that he is very upset about how ‘rude’ the city leaders have been because they don’t want to pay his inflated fee.

To Gehry, the real issue is not his $1.9 million fee, which he said is appropriate for the project’s scope — it’s the city’s $10 million construction budget for the public park, which he said is too small given Miami Beach’s and the symphony’s elaborate goals for the space.

Hmmm…..$1.9 million for a $10 million dollar project….sounds like a 19% architectural fee. I wonder what other services Mr. Gehry will be performing for almost 20%? Sounds like the real issue isn’t the budget, but the fact that Gehry wants a larger fee. Then there is this:

Instead of hiring another architect for the park, Gehry suggested having the parks department install grass, landscaping, sprinklers, and drainage, and talk to the symphony about its ideas for the space. Then he will review it.

“We won’t charge a dime. We’ll do it as a friend to the city. Pay us zero.”

Sounds good to me. Why waste tons of money on expensive lights and fountains - park space doesn’t need to be that complicated.  If the urbanism around the park works then there should not be a need to fill the park with silly things to activate it. The city can improve the park over time, and not waste so much money on architects who say things like:

Doing a parking garage in Miami is not something I should be spending time on. I did it out of respect for [Tilson Thomas].

Dude, we don’t need you to do us any favors. Thanks.

** 3/30/09 UPDATE: The New World Symphony happily reports that the park will still be built, regardless of the parking issue. Transit Miami apologizes for misinterpreting the Miami Herald article, which clearly confused the issue by reporting contradictory statements in their own article. TM is planning to meet with the NWS to review the plans further and will share our findings after a review. **

Many Beach dwellers, myself not included, have long awaited the arrival of celebrity ‘star’chitect Frank Gehry’s addition to the New World Symphony, a public-private venture being hailed as a new ‘city center’ for Miami Beach. Clearly intended to raise the NWS’s profile and add to the civic core of Miami Beach, Gehry’s plans also contain a 520 space parking garage and a new 2-acre park.

While I personally question Gehry’s ability to create a dynamic public space, the park is certainly a needed amenity in this portion of Miami Beach. However, according to an article in the Herald yesterday, the rising cost of buliding the garage inspired Miami Beach City Commission to vote 5-2 in favor of changing the development agreement.

The new agreement uses the money devoted to the park to fund the cost over-run on the 520 car garage. What is more, the  designated park space will likely become an additional 175 parking spaces because the City Commission says the NWS is not meeting its parking requirement, which allows the City to pull $6 million dollars worth of public funding out from underneath the Symphony.

In what sane world do we exchange a public good like needed park space for parking? As Commissioner Diaz rightly noted, this is indeed “a travesty.”

Before moving forward with what promises to be an over-designed parking garage, maybe city officials should research where Symphony attendees are traveling from. Do they all require parking spaces? Don’t people tend to enjoy the symphony in groups, which allows for a higher occupancy per vehicle? Won’t a good number of visitors come from the beach as residents or tourists? Why another 700+ spaces? Wouldn’t 520 be enough?

There are a slew of other problems implied in the story, mostly that 700+ parking spaces will only contribute to auto-dependence, congestion, and pollution on Miami Beach. Feel free to vent your frustration in the comments section.

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Question - What’s 11 stories tall, 129,000 SF, located within 0.3 miles of a transit station in a dense transit-oriented quadrant of the city (see map above), and dedicates 54% of its available volume to parking?  If you guessed Miami’s newest rising LEED Silver office structure just south of the Health District, then you guessed right.

Via Globestreet:

The space is designed to LEED Silver standards and will cater to the needs of healthcare professionals, according to Gutierrez Group…The 11-story building, located at 1001 Sunnybrook Road, will include four stories of office space and six floors of parking, says Jeb Bush Jr., commercial sales and leasing agent for Coral Gables-based Fairchild Partners, which will handle leasing for Highland Park.

Welcome to Miami.  Only Miamians can figure out how to rig the LEED certification standards so that this lousy excuse of a building can become Silver Certified.  Honestly, this building should be imploded upon completion.  The building, pictured below, is reminiscent of a few other less than notable properties we’ve discussed before (See: Miami Green, Bay of Pigs Museum, Marina Blue, etc.) and littered with the same atrocious parking standards Miami has become renown for.  Some might even say we have “world-class” parking standards.  I traveled the great cities of the United States and part of the world and have never seen another city that takes such pride in its autocentric designs.  Without a formal analysis, I’d go so far as to suggest that we have more parking structures in our high transit centers than any other city I’ve seen yet.  Its projects like these that will really tarnish the USGBC’s LEED certification system.

Image Credit: Vitruvius09 via SSC

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At approximately 8:35 tonight ground will officially break initiating the construction of the New World Symphony’s new concert hall on Miami Beach designed by renowned architect Frank Gehry.

The 107,000-square-foot ”campus” is Gehry’s first Florida building. And though its simple, rectilinear design doesn’t offer the daring of the titanium-roofed Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain, or the audacious sail-like curves of the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles, the yet-to-be-named facility will solve logistical problems faced by the New World Symphony in its two decades on Lincoln Road.

The Lincoln Theatre ”has acoustical deficiencies and technological limitations,” said Howard Herring, New World president and CEO. The new building, he said, will allow significant expansion and outreach “in how we train our fellows and how we bring music to the public.”

To be completed in 2010, the new building will house a 700-seat, state-of-the-art performance space with capacity for recording and webcasts and 360-degree projections. There will be a rooftop music library and conductor’s studio, 26 individual rehearsal rooms and six ensemble rehearsal rooms. Expanded Internet2 technology will allow greater international partnership and interaction with musicians, composers and learning institutions around the world. Of the $200 million cost, $150 million will pay for construction. The rest will go to the orchestra’s endowment. Its interest will cover the increased cost of operating the facility and expanding programs, Herring said.

Images Via: PlaybillArts

The Fontainebleau Miami is rising. I am not talking about the reinvention of the famous Miami Beach hotel, but rather the sudden emergence of a palatial 14-acre estate on the southwestern fringes of Miami-Dade County. After a brief Miami-Dade property search, it turns out that the home belongs to one of the area’s top skyscraper designers; Charles Sieger, designer of the urban 50 Biscayne, ultra luxurious Apogee condominium in SOBE, and revolutionary Portofino tower, among other projects. It is a paradox to see one of the area’s top condominium designers, a proponent for urban life I would assume, build a sprawling mansion on land situated outside of the urban development boundary.

The house itself is set back quite a distance from the street. I drove by recently catching this glimpse, perplexed that a house in this area could be built with such a short setback. I turned around and drove by again, realizing that this was only a “guardhouse” of sorts and that the “real” mansion lay somewhere behind a few acres of well manicured gardens, obelisks, and fountains. This area is no stranger to oversized palaces as we noted back in April in a post, which incidentally featured a picture of the entrance to this estate.

I assume the home is modeled after the famous Fontainebleau in Fontainebleau, France, the same location where Charles Sieger studied in 1968 at the Ecoles D’Art Americaines according to his resume.

A collective sigh of relief can be heard as the unveiling of this intriguing new building for the home of the Miami Art Museum is commenced. Recent memory cannot recall a time when so much anticipation over a new civic structure has captured the imagination and concern of so many. I for one am completely ecstatic. As is much reported with Herzog and DeMeuron, one never knows quite what to expect, but can usually rest assured that something of great beauty will transpire, and they do not disappoint.
The initial model and renderings for the building depict an elegant, entirely contemporary building, that manages to embrace and incorporate many of Miami’s architectural histories, and issues. With the first and third floors sheathed in glass the 2nd floor galleries appear the levitate. The generous canopied roof provides a huge amount of shaded exterior public space that will be punctuated by sculptural indigenous plants, some climbing the columns, others hanging down through a beautiful abstraction of skylights that perforate the roof. These features will go a long way to ensure the capture of bay breezes for natural cooling.

The sheltered plaza should be all that is necessary to alleviate the concerns of massive buildings overrunning the park. The visual lightness of the structure as well will serve to maintain that the natural elements of the bay and the park are heralded.

The building could well be described as quiet. Herzog and DeMeuron are known for creating architecture that is subtle restrained and delicate and yet absolutely brilliant, even scintillating, at the same time. It brings to mind other recent important museums that, while also great architecture, could be seen as boisterous and some would go as far as to say gauche, by comparison, and yet no more aesthetically satisfying.

This is an exciting time for architecture and design in Miami and we could now well have a crown jewel.

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Via the Miami Herald:

”It’s an original Miami building,” said museum director Terence Riley. “It’s not New York; it’s not London. Right away, it has an iconic quality. But what I’m really excited about is that it appears it’s going to be a fantastic museum.”

The design also was inspired by what Riley referred to as a classic example of South Florida ”folk architecture” — Stiltsville.

Inside, visitors will find a museum that does not, in Riley’s words, ”aspire to be a mini-MOMA or a mini-Tate,” alluding to museums with encyclopedic collections of modern art. Rather, Riley wants to build a collection that focuses on specific artists and offers broad overviews of artistic movements.

We’ll be back with some commentary and thoughts once we have the chance to review the plans over the weekend…Stay Tuned…

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The new Freitag flagship store in Zurich’s western developing area, made of seventeen used freight containers stacked together.

The planners for the old Spanish Village development along Ponce Circle in the Gables are working to create a new office building (shown above) which would attempt to replicate the Barcelona Cathedral: I’m not sure what the final building will look like, but I’ve always been curious to see a modern day Gothic building rise. The 215,000 square foot office building is slated to become the centerpiece of the development and the new home of the Cisneros Group.
Given the Gothic design, I’m kind of curious to see how the rest of the development will be designed. Hopefully, the final product will be as nice of an addition to the Gables skyline as the Alhambra Tower recently was…

Here was the original design when the tower was slated for condominiums:

This intriguing new structure by Thom Mayne/Morphosis can help to clear up any misgivings about great architecture and limited budgets. The San Francisco Federal building is an 18 story building and was brought in under budget at 144 million dollars, about $249 / square foot. This very reasonable price for such a major structure shows that with careful planning and innovative conscious designers anything is possible.

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In the name of challenging our understanding of global visual cues, can anybody identify this museum? It should be noted that there is little parking anywhere nearby and the building was built within a very reasonable budget. Interesting design does not require a great deal of money, just great designers and there are many who work for reasonable compensation. Many who need and deserve the opportunity to do so, as well. The main volume seems to levitate over the glass enclosed first floor. Nearly the entire main volume is sheathed in very inexpensive (with very little weight) translucent ‘cow wall’. Requirements to light the building are diminished greatly with the entire building being translucent. I realize this material is probably not suitable for hurricanes, but there are always creative solutions.

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