Architectural Miami

MiamiKnown for its vibrant atmosphere, year-round fantastic weather and excellent beaches, Miami is widely seen as one of America’s party capitals. It’s easy to forget the city’s other attractions in the rush to the coastline clubs, but those who visit Miami with a more perceptive frame of mind may be pleasantly surprised by the art and culture waiting to be discovered. In recent years, some of the world’s leading architects have been attracted to restore the city’s historic Miami Modern, or MiMo, architecture, while the skyline has been expanded with a range of ground-breaking new designs.

The distinctive style of the city’s many MiMo buildings, which were constructed between the end of WWII and the start of the 1970s, resembles Art Deco but with added functionality, always including features to help reduce the impact of the region’s high temperatures and humidity. A prime example is the Bacardi Building on Biscayne Boulevard. The iconic former national headquarters of rum brand Bacardi were sold last year to the National Young Arts Foundation for $10m, reported to be less than half the market value. Built in 1963, the complex has been largely unused since the company moved in 2009, but the Foundation has succeeded in hiring Frank Gehry to design a park, performance space, art gallery and housing for artists in residence in the various buildings. Meanwhile, the exterior with its elaborate mosaic walls will remain untouched.

Not content with reinventing classic buildings, new works also seem to be springing up throughout the city. As recently as August, designs for Zaha Hadid’s planned One Thousand Museum Tower were revealed. Due to become the first Hadid-designed skyscraper to grace a city in the Western hemisphere, the 60-storey tower will offer 83 opulent apartments with commercial space for high-end retailers on the ground floor, and is one of several such developments planned in downtown Miami. In July the same year, after months of competition and debate it was announced that South Beach ACE had won the bid to redevelop the Miami Beach Convention Center, beating rival consortium BIG to the prize. It is hoped the revamped complex will help revive a currently underused area and further its growth in line with other parts of downtown Miami. The $1billion project, which will be largely publicly funded, is due for completion in 2018.

After completing the eye-catching parking garage at 1111 Lincoln Road several years ago, internationally-renowned Swiss architects Herzog & de Meuron have just overseen the finishing touches at the Perez Art Museum Miami, previously known as the Miami Art Museum, which is due to reopen in December. Set to feature work by well-known artists including the Chinese dissident Ai Weiwei, the gallery is expected to have its grand opening for members and the press on 3rd December, with the general public gaining access to its treasures the following day.

With so much emphasis being placed on architecture in this beachfront city, it’s no surprise that its housing market is also enjoying a period of strong growth. If you decide to make South Florida the location for your next real estate investment, Engel & Völkers’ multiple offices in the region are well placed to help you in your search. Visit our website for more information.


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