Credit: Jon Warech, Ocean Drive
Big-name architects from Miami and beyond are changing the skyline with groundbreaking condo projects from Sunny Isles to South Beach.
Turnberry Ocean Club, designed by New York architect Carlos Zapata, will rise to 54 stories in Sunny Isles Beach, with a projected opening in 2018.
Miami, with its beautiful beaches and sunny skies, has always been easy on the eyes, but in a city packed with eye candy, there is a new star in town: architecture. One by one, new structures are rising that are not only reshaping the landscape, but also getting recognition on a global scale for their impressive, innovative design.
Leading the way is Bernardo Fort-Brescia. Born in Lima in 1951, Fort-Brescia and his wife, Laurinda Spear, are founders of Arquitectonica, a firm with projects in 54 countries and 700 architects in offices around the world. On the company’s to-do list is a slew of projects for The Related Group, including One Brickell, Brickell Heights, SLS Brickell, Hyde Midtown Miami, and Paraiso Bay, the 53-floor luxury tower in Edgewater. “It’s different architecture for different locations,” says Related Group President of Condominium Development Carlos Rosso. “That’s the beauty of Bernardo; he’s always reinventing, and every building he has is going to be a signature building in Miami.”
Fort-Brescia is also working with the Melo Group on Aria on the Bay (250 NE 25th St., Miami, 305- 573-0666), a new 647-unit ultra-luxury condominium that’s under construction in the Arts & Entertainment District. The 53-story tower was designed with both Biscayne Bay and the geometry of some of the world’s greatest opera houses in mind. “When you start sketching, you start looking at metaphors; you start looking at ideas and shapes you love,” says Fort-Brescia. “When you look out at the bay, you see the wave crests on a windy day and how they form this interesting break. When I looked at this building and its position along Biscayne Bay, I thought of those shapes and how they could become almost a painting of that scene.”
Arquitectonica isn’t the only game in town. The Related Group and Dezer Development are working together on the Residences by Armani/Casa in Sunny Isles Beach (18975 Collins Ave.)—at 60 stories, the tallest tower in the area. While there is obvious buzz surrounding the interiors by Giorgio Armani, it’s the exterior, by world-renowned Argentina-born architect César Pelli, that will reshape the Sunny Isles skyline. The design features unique cabanas cascading down to the beach as an ode to a Mediterranean shorefront village. “We love designing projects in Florida,” says Pelli, whose firm, Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects, also designed the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts. “Its climate, its lifestyles, and its cultural mix lend themselves to exciting designs. I believe we captured this feeling in the Residences by Armani.”
New York architect Carlos Zapata designed the 54-story Turnberry Ocean Club (19950 W. Country Club Dr., Ste. 803, Aventura, 305-933-3000), set to open in Sunny Isles Beach in 2018, and Herzog & de Meuron, which made its mark locally with Pérez Art Museum Miami and 1111 Lincoln Road, will also take its talents to Sunny Isles Beach with Jade Signature (17070 Collins Ave., Ste. 250, 305- 940-0335), Fortune International Group’s 192-unit tower set for completion in early 2017. The impressive structure will rise 57 stories high and has long, uninterrupted horizontal lines (much like 1111) that carry the eye off to the Atlantic.
The Pritzker Prize-winning Zaha Hadid Architects designed One Thousand Museum (1040 Biscayne Blvd., Fifth Fl., Miami), a 62-story u?ber-luxurious residential tower in downtown set for completion in 2017. Based in London, Zaha Hadid Architects is known for creating the Dubai Opera House, the BMW Central Building in Germany, and the London Aquatics Centre. At One Thousand Museum, Hadid has incorporated a unique crosshatch exoskeleton and arcing organic shapes, along with enormous units, making for a rather exclusive downtown experience.
Right around the corner in Museum Park is the all-new Patricia and Phillip Frost Museum of Science, designed by Grimshaw, a firm with offices in New York, Melbourne, London, Sydney, and Doha, Qatar, which has designed everything from Wimbledon to the National Space Centre in the UK. The museum, set to open in 2016, includes a planetarium, a stunning 500,000-gallon Gulf Stream aquarium that can be viewed from underneath or above, and a structure built to take advantage of the Biscayne Bay breeze. The elegant yet efficient design will use architecture as a teaching tool complementary to the exhibits.
Over on South Beach, award-winning architect Rene Gonzalez’s design for Louver House (311 Meridian Ave., Miami Beach, 305-203-0170)—Mast Capital’s South of Fifth boutique condominium—connects the interior home with exterior tropical ambience by blurring the line between lush balcony and living space. And on Fisher Island, Kobi Karp is designing Palazzo del Sol (1 Fisher Island Dr., 305-535-6071), a 10-story, 47-residence condominium on the private island—the first new condo construction on the island in more than seven years. Sticking to the community’s Mediterranean-inspired style, Palazzo del Sol will feature contemporary living spaces and massive outdoor terraces to enjoy the Government Cut views when completed in the first quarter of 2016.
No matter who is behind the design, every neighborhood will have a new look in the coming years, and that looks pretty good from here.