Miami’s Waterfront Transformed by Art & Architecture
You can always find a new view of Miami’s waterfront, thanks to its art and architecture.
Hailed as the “billion dollar sandbar,” Miami Beach has weathered its share of Florida real estate cycles of boom and bust. But thanks to its reputation for superb design and architecture, the city can prevail over these changing tides. Now more than ever: in 2015 Miami Beach celebrates its Centennial.
It’s billion-dollar boom time for Miami Beach. This high-end sandbar bedazzles residents and visitors with the current wave of internationally famed design and architecture. An international roster of “starchitects” are building here or have recently built iconic structures, transforming the city’s skyline with 21st century “Only in Miami” glamour.
Consider: Arata Isozaki is now designing an expansion to Bass Museum of Art, Frank Gehry designed New World Symphony concert hall, and Herzog & de Meuron transformed search for parking into an architectural adventure with the extraordinary 1111 Lincoln Road parking garage. Currently underway is Faena Arts Center by Rem Koolhaas. Commissioned but not yet built is Zaha Hadid’s landmark parking structure for Collins Avenue.
Design + Architecture + Art + Music + Transportation becomes a sure-fire combination delivering unique cosmopolitan cachet.
The Wolfsonian/FIU museum, in Miami Beach’s Art Deco district, is a not-to-be missed partner to this cachet. Its peerless collection assembles approximately 120,000 objects from 1885 to 1945, exploring how design shapes and reflects the modern world. The ongoing “Art and Design in the Modern Age” exhibit presents distinctive objects from the museum’s collection, from architectural models and decorative arts to books and paintings.
“Miami Beach has always been a city in search of design and through design its identity. A spit of sand separated by Biscayne Bay without history or narrative, Miami Beach was primed for imposed structure and ornamentation. Its buildings, parks and even its beaches are a modern invention. First came an Hispano-Moorish style followed by an Art Deco/Moderne impulse. Morris Lapidus made his mark, and now new eyes with new narratives will continue the story,” says Wolfsonian museum founder Mitchell Wolfson, Jr.
On Miami Beach, the fair Design Miami/ turns ten this year. It’s the foremost fair for collectible design, coinciding with Art Basel Miami Beach in December and Art Basel in Switzerland in June.
“The revitalization of Miami Beach, which heralded a new and exciting era for all of Miami, our City’s renaissance, was contrary to most new development in the United States at the time. It was all about architecture, design, art and style. The beautiful Art Deco structures, when adaptively used for our time, were all developed in a boutique style. They were distinct from mainstream commercial projects. This South Beach movement laid a foundation for how our city is perceived as a center for discourse on design today,” says Craig Robins, Dacra President and Principal of Design Miami/, which he owns in partnership with Art Basel producers.
Robins was a leader in revitalizing the Art Deco District in the 1980s, which had dwindled into shadows of its former 1930s glory. It’s widely considered that the genesis for today’s boom in architecture and design is rooted in that prescient move to preserve Art Deco.
“From the blocks of restored Deco buildings in South Beach to the incomparable Herzog & de Meuron parking garage on Lincoln Road,” says Design Miami/ Executive Director Rodman Primack, Miami Beach is a wonderful place to present a fair about architecture and design, given that both Miami Beach and Miami have “amazing examples of both in the built environment.”
New this year to Design Miami/ is Design Visionary award, celebrating someone with lasting influence in the field. Inaugural Design Visionary is Peter Marino, renowned architect and designer, also collector of design, visual art, and decorative arts.
In December, Bass Museum of Art presents “One Way: Peter Marino.” Marino pioneers the nexus of art, architecture, fashion, and design, commissioning artists to create artworks for his projects. The Bass exhibit will include installations by Jean-Michel Othoniel and Erwin Wurm. There’ll also be contemporary art from Marino’s personal collection, with works by Keith Haring and Andy Warhol.
In May 2015, Miami Beach gets another international dose of design, with the arrival of Paris-based design trade show Maison&Objet, aiming to reach North and South America.
“We chose Miami Beach for Maison&Objet Americas not only for its strategic positioning with quick access to some very important geographic areas, but also for the vibrancy and energy of the city. The Art Deco architecture coexisting so beautifully with the numerous starchitect projects has created a dynamic environment in which these creative endeavors can thrive,” says Philippe Brocart, Managing Director of SAFI, which owns Maison&Objet.
There’s no end to bedazzling design on the Beach. Happy 100th Birthday, Miami Beach!