DawnTown Miami | The First Four Years of Ideas, the exhibition on the eponymous annual architectural design competition for Downtown Miami, ended last week. Over the past four years, DawnTown Miami has challenged architects, urban designers, and artists, to propose their visions for neglected spaces in Florida's largest city, inviting creative proposals in the competitions Water Works (2008), Metro Mover (2009), Seaplane Terminal (2010), and, earlier this year, Floating Stage. The First Four Years of Ideas took a look back at the very best works produced from these competitions.
The exhibition's opening event on November 9th at the University of Miami School of Architecture was attended by over 140 people, made up of members of the design and academic community.
The evening began with a panel discussion, moderated by Jean Francois Lejeune, Graduate Director of the School of Architecture. The panel consisted of Joachim Perez, executive director of DawnTown and adjunct faculty at the School of Architecture, Andrey Frey, DawnTown’s founder and board chairman, Don Worth, co-founder of Friend’s of Marine Stadium and co-sponsor of the Floating Stage competition, and Jason Chandler, Assistant Professor at FIU and honorable mention from the Water Works competition.
The panelists spoke about the history of DawnTown, from its inception as a conversation in a Hong Kong bar to its current state as the international design contest for the Miami. The panelists also addressed the importance of ideas competitions for both professionals and students, and that the main objective is to bring an international spotlight to the architecture scene of Miami.
“Everyone knows about the innovative architecture that happens in places in New York City, Dubai, Madrid, and we believe Miami should also be mentioned in a similar list”, said Perez, “In the last few years we’ve attracted Herzog & de Meuron, [Frank] Gehry, Zaha Hadid, and we have great buildings already like the Marine Stadium, so let’s acknowledge that and announce it to the world: Miami is a significant place for architecture.”
The opening event continued and closed in the Irvin Korach Gallery, where the exhibit was held. Over eighty entries were displayed showcasing the best work of the past four DawnTown competitions. The original competition boards were hung in the gallery, divided by each year, and a projector displayed images of many other entries on one the gallery walls.
Along with the boards were a series of models, graciously donated by three Miami architecture firms who have competed in the past: Jacob Brillhart Architect, NC-Office, and Chandler Architecture.
Finally, an art piece was installed that paid recognition to all participants by having their names displayed in the form of a mural.
Find more photos of the opening event at the Irvin Korach Gallery below.
All images courtesy of Joachim Perez/DawnTown Miami.