Miami Beach is is one of the youngest cities in America – and perhaps right now one of the most vibrant and dynamic. Its streetscape is characterized by a lively walkable urban fabric with a friendly human scaled environment under the cool shade of tropical trees and art deco canopies – except at the convention center. It is a dead black hole of asphalt in the heart of one the most beautiful and lively cities in America.
Our mission is to bring Miami Beach back to the Convention Center – and to imagine an architecture and an urban space unique to the climate and culture of Miami Beach. We propose to roll out an urban fabric of paths and plazas, parks and gardens that forms an archipelago of urban oases throughout the site.
At the heart of it – we introduce a central square to become the pivoting point of the entire neighborhood. Becoming the front door to the convention center, and the convention hotel, a front lawn to the revitalized Jackie Gleason Theatre, a town square for the city hall, an outdoor arena for the Latin American Cultural Museum, and the red carpet for the big botanical ball room.
“We have devised a strategy that combines urban planning and landscape design to create a neighborhood characterized by human scale, pedestrian connections, shaded spaces with public oriented programs lining the streets and squares. A neighborhood that, depending on the season, the weekday, or even the time of day can be perceived as a lively downtown neighborhood or an inviting public park.” Bjarke Ingels, Creative Director BIG.
The square creates a series of intuitive connections across the site – a diagonal that connects the Soundscape to the Botanical Gardens and Holocaust Memorial. A north-south connection joins the Collins Canal to Lincoln Road and naturally channels the flow of convention visitors to the liveliness of Lincoln Road. A green network of public spaces that stitches together all of the adjacent neighborhoods – formerly separated by the convention center – into a complete and coherent community – for both visitors and residents.
All public programs – old and new come together on the square. All great cities have a great square – this will be Miami Beach Square. By popular demand we have found a way to preserve and enhance the architecture and programming of the Jackie Gleason Theatre. By making it all public at the street level – opening up lobbies, restaurants and cafes on all sides – we make the Gleason a lively centerpiece in this new neighborhood.
Towards the Square we propose to extend the fly tower with a performing arts center with various spaces for rehearsal and offering a visual connection to the public. Adjacent to the Jackie Gleason Theater sits the new Latin American Cultural Museum consisting of a base of public programs opening up on the square. The building form creates a covered shaded event space on the square blurring the transition between inside and outside.
The Roof of the Convention Center is framed by a green roof drawing the outline of the urban block – framing the hotel gardens and the roof parking interspersed with shade giving landscapes. As a reoccurring annual event we propose to sponsor an art foundation that will deliver a roof art piece to cover the remaining roof surface turning it into a giant ever changing canvas seen from the air as well as the roof terrace of the hotel. An ever changing giant canvas that will annually challenge contemporary artists with an architectural scale canvas – seen from the roofs and penthouses of adjacent buildings, from airplanes and google earth. Description from BIG
Location: Miami, USA
Architect:Bjarke Ingels Group
Partners in Charge:Thomas Christoffersen, Kai-Uwe Bergmann
Project Leader:Leon Rost, Project Team: Romea Muryn, Blake Smith, Carolien Schippers, Doug Stechschulte, Chris Junkin, Choonghye Lee, Kenneth Amoah, Ivy Hume, David Dottelonde, Birk Daugaard, Christoffer Gotfredsen, Maya Shapova, Manon Gicquel, David Splitter
Development Team: Portman Holdings, CMC, Bal Harbor Shops, Cirque du Soleil
Project Team:BIG (master plan and architecture), West 8 (public realm), John Portman & Associates (hotel), Fentress (convention center), Revuelta Architects (local)
Consultant Team:Schwebke Shishkin (Civil), Plummer Associates (Traffic) , HDC Associates (Estimating, Scheduling), CMC Group Construction, Greenberg Traurig (Legal), Desimone (Structural), Space Syntax (Pedestrian Accessibility), MIT/Carlo Ratti Associati (Technology), Lead Pencil Studio (Art Consultation)
Production Team:Squint Opera (Animation), MIR (Renderings), Kennedy Fabricators (Model)