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BIG & Design Partners Propose Miami Beach Square as Massive Convention Center Redevelopment
Posted: Tuesday, May 14, 2013 |

BIG together with West 8, Fentress Architects, John Portman & Associates (JPA), Revuelta Architecture International and developers Portman-CMC have unveiled the urban planning proposal Miami Beach Square, the centerpiece of a 52-acre Miami Beach Convention Center District development. Portman-CMC is one of two development teams currently in the race for the project.

MIAMI BEACH SQUARE from BIG on Vimeo (animation by Squint Opera)

Aerial view of the proposed Miami Beach Square development by BIG, West 8, Fentress, JPA, Portman CMC (Image courtesy of BIG)

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Aerial view of the proposed Miami Beach Square development by BIG, West 8, Fentress, JPA, Portman CMC (Image courtesy of BIG)

Project Description from BIG:

Miami Beach is a unique city in so many ways. It 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.

Image courtesy of BIG

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Image courtesy of BIG

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.

Image courtesy of BIG

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Image courtesy of BIG

“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

Image courtesy of BIG

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Image courtesy of 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.

Image courtesy of BIG

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Image courtesy of BIG

“Rather than scattering all the program across the 52 acre site we have decided to concentrate it around the center piece of our public realm - Miami Beach Square bringing focus to the renovated Jackie Gleason Theater, the entrance of the convention center and for the first time ever creating a worthy civic presence to Miami Beach City Hall.” Jamie Maslyn Larsen, West 8, Creator of Soundscape Park

Image courtesy of BIG

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Image courtesy of BIG

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.

Image courtesy of BIG

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Image courtesy of BIG

Today the Miami Beach City Hall is almost like a left over wedged between random neighbors surrounded by traffic. Our proposal places it rightly in the middle of the town square with amble space for public expression and at the heart of communal life. The Miami Beach City Hall and Botanical Ballroom book end the Square making it a natural extension of the civic activities of city hall. To the north the botanical ballroom opens up allowing for beautiful views of the botanical gardens and the memorial. The Ballroom has an entrance to the south and to the north allowing for seamless connectivity to the convention center – under the shade and shelter of the canopies.

Image courtesy of BIG

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Image courtesy of BIG

Rather than being the hermetic mono programmatic box that the Miami Beach Convention Center is today – a single program at the size of an urban block- we propose to consider the Convention Center an actual urban block complete with different programs - grown together to form a continuous architecture. A gradual transition from public to private – and from cultural to civic – conference to residential turns a stroll around the block into an experience of continuous variation. Along the entire west adjacent to the various gardens and the new square - the main entrances to the convention Center and Conference Center occupies the ground. The hotel lobby spans the entire south elevation in continuation of the Convention Center lobby. The Hotel façade as pulled back forming a cascade of terraces for the south facing hotel rooms – decreasing the perceived height seen from the Gleason.

Image courtesy of BIG

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Image courtesy of BIG

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.

Image courtesy of BIG

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Image courtesy of BIG

“Realizing that a challenge that seemed to be driven by two incompatible agendas was actually the opportunity – to create a convention center district that is not only for convention-goers but, more importantly, for residents.” Jack Portman, Portman Holdings and JPA

Image courtesy of BIG

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Image courtesy of BIG

Project Credits:

BIG Team Credit List:

Creative Director: Bjarke Ingels

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

Image courtesy of BIG

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Image courtesy of BIG

Project Team Credit List:

Development Team: Portman Holdings, CMC, Bal Harbor Shops, Cirque du Soleil

Design / Planning 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)

Image courtesy of BIG

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Image courtesy of BIG

PR / Marketing / Branding Team: Garber & Goodman (Public Relations), Cinnamon Associates (Public Relations)

Feasibility Team: Courtney Lord (Retail), BRC (Entertainment), Noell Consulting (Residential)

Financing Team: Piper Jaffray, Brookfield, HFF

Production Team: Squint Opera (Animation), MIR (Renderings), Kennedy Fabricators (Model)

Image courtesy of BIG

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Image courtesy of BIG

Find also drawings and diagrams of the scheme in the image gallery below.

Miami Beach Square, diagram (Image courtesy of BIG) Miami Beach Square, diagram (Image courtesy of BIG) Miami Beach Square, diagram (Image courtesy of BIG) Miami Beach Square, diagram (Image courtesy of BIG) Miami Beach Square, diagram (Image courtesy of BIG) Miami Beach Square, drawing (Image courtesy of BIG) Miami Beach Square, drawing (Image courtesy of BIG) Miami Beach Square, drawing (Image courtesy of BIG) Miami Beach Square, drawing (Image courtesy of BIG)


Comments:
chris meland
1775 Washington Ave. Miami Beach
Sunday, May 19, 2013
Will tour buses be entering and leaving Washington Ave. at the new hotel entrance or will they be limited to drop offs at the west side entrance? I live in the condo directly in front of the new hotel entrance.

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