65,000 SF Multi Family, Re Use


Miami Beach, Florida, USA

Existing at the intersection of civic, commercial, and residential activity, the project emerged from a process of contextual sampling confined within the restrictions of an exaggerated historic preservation agenda and municipal zoning constraints. Confronted with 2 lots that straddle a nondescript, but sacred Post-war apartment building, the massing of the complex is derived from the collusion of abstract reference and the mundane. Financial objectives– the maximization of saleable area and idealized unit/parking correlations are kept in check with sensitivity towards the maintenance of the surrounding urban fabric.

A dramatic entry sequence– emphasizes differentiations is time-subtly sequencing from old to new. Upon passing through the original front doors of the apartment building, one is confronted by a curvaceous, ramping portal, which leads to a lobby in which glass elevators pierce a glass ceiling It is this interstitial zone, which organizes the project in multiple dimensions simultaneously. Clarity in plan and section create efficiencies that permit internal, open-air boulevards of ample width-establishing moments for communal interaction. Forty units, some newly created and some carved from the existing structure, are configured to provide an open plan and dual exterior exposures-allowing for abundant light/air and ultimate owner flexibility.

Organized and connected by the vertical and horizontal circulation systems– four distinct structures of various, yet similar architectural articulations, relate to each other while simultaneously referencing their contextual partners of distinct typologies and time frames. Materials and methods-sampled and simplified from the surrounding buildings provide an elemental palette. Aluminum screens of various proportion and transparency, envelope the project in distinct patterns-establishing an ephemeral mass that filters and reflects view and light– both inside and out, distorts scale, and abstractly alludes to forms in the surrounding historical district. A rough, Keystone base, mined from local earth contrasts the precision of the mostly glass, aluminum and stucco building. The materiality of the project transforms according to stimuli of its situation.

The new 5-story structures wrap around the existing 2-story apartment building creating an open court in the sky. A pleasure garden with an edgeless pool, situated on top of the historic structure, serves as the main public space of the project-creating a luscious playground for its inhabitants while defining a soft allusion to a civic plaza in which the space confronts across the street. Private, enclosed, roof-top pavilions provide a sacred space open to the sky for meditation and reflection.

Principal in charge: Chad Oppenheim
Project Manager: Juan Calvo
Project Contributors: Leslie Abraham, Rodrigo Londoño

Renderers: Ken Hayden, Laziz Hamani

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