Thursday July 27, 2006

Miamivision Blogarama

worlds tallest proposal

I don’t normally link to fresh new blogs, on the grounds that they’re often here today, gone tomorrow. But Miamivision is too good to pass up. Witness the picture above, from this post about the proposed Empire World Tower. No idea where they got the rendering (which is a year old in any case), but it sure is impressive.

Even more impressive are the observations about on the Carnival Center for the Performing Arts:

Architect Cesar Pelli was forced to keep [the Sears tower] in his design by well-meaning but misguided preservationists who went epileptic when they found out that it might get nixed in the plan. Although it is not a great example of the Art Deco style, it seems it was the only example of Art Deco architecture left in Miami. Too bad there isn’t any money in the budget to hire Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen to turn it into a giant flashlight pointing skyward. That would give Miami that elusive signature piece of art or architecture it sorely lacks because no matter how grand the design and effective the acoustics are, Pelli’s buildings would be hard to pick out of a lineup of concert halls.

[ . . . ]

”...it connects with a past that was precious to many people.” [Pelli] As someone who grew up here, that statement reeks with irony. It was in the Sears tower that I was first exposed to the Jim Crow laws of 1950’s Miami. I was probably five or six when I made the mistake of going to the wrong water fountain. . .

Snap! And there’s much more: a proposal for the soon-to-be gentrified Overtown, a tribute to Churchill’s Pub, and more more more. See also the original site, a mecha of (flash) weirdness. (via Transit Miami)

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  1. Val Prieto    Thu Jul 27, 08:48 AM #  

    I wonder how those two towers would stand against, say, a Cat 5 hurricane. You certainly wouldnt find me anywhere near them.



  2. Miami Transit Man    Thu Jul 27, 09:04 AM #  

    Yeah dude, those renderings have been floating around for quite some time now, I am surprised you hadn’t seen them…

    I doubt that building will get built though…I always saw it as a dream…



  3. Tere    Thu Jul 27, 09:37 AM #  

    Val took the words right out of my mouth. I mean, big shiny skyscrapers are nice and all, but seriously. So misguided.



  4. alesh    Thu Jul 27, 10:00 AM #  

    It might not get built, but w/r/t hurricanes, a 106 floor building is no worse off then a 10 story building. Sure the wind is stronger up there, but it’s not like it’s going to knock the thing over. So long as the glass is thick enough (or whatever it is they do to glass to make it withstand stuff), you’re as safe up there as you’d be anywhere. Keep in mind that most hurricane damage is usually from flooding.

    Whatever: I was just like “cool man, it’s a really tall building!” It hasn’t gotten off the planning stage in the last year, so I guess it’s not happening.



  5. Miami Transit Man    Thu Jul 27, 10:05 AM #  

    Good Point Alesh…Its true though that the building is no worse off than a 10 story building.



  6. gansibele    Thu Jul 27, 10:11 AM #  

    Both Malaysia’s Petronas Towers and Taiwan’s Taipei 101 (the tallest buildings in the world) can stand thypoon force winds which can be higher than hurricanes. So it’s entirely possible.



  7. Val Prieto    Thu Jul 27, 11:05 AM #  

    While, yeah, its entirely possible as anything can be built, but highly improbable. The taller the building, the stronger the wind loads upon said building. Not to mention uplift or the pressure differentials. My guess is that it would be economically impractical to erect such a tall structure here in South Florida.

    the money needed to be dished out to have said building meet current florida code would probably be almost impossible to recover.



  8. Tere    Thu Jul 27, 11:33 AM #  

    Alesh, Gabe & Gansibele: good points. The picture just looks super tall and it’s like, right on the water. Also, I was thinking (but didn’t write) about how typical shoddy construction is around here… I’m just hard pressed to believe that all these developers are using the best, highest-quality materials – my automatic assumption is that they use the bare minimum they need to comply with code.



  9. Miami Transit Man    Thu Jul 27, 01:18 PM #  

    Good points Tere, I was going to mention this earlier as well.

    The reason many of our buildings fell apart during last hurricane season wasn’t because it hit us ridiculously hard. Many windows fell out of downtown buildings because they weren’t installed properly, not because they weren’t strong enough. Inspection reports following the storms showed that windows failed by popping out of misplaced frames and was typically not the result of glass breaking. Once wind can get into a building (especially office buildings) it can then continue to pop out other windows by placing stresses and forces on them which they are not typically supposed to handle.

    Shoddy construction is a huge part of the crisis we will face the next time a hurricane comes barreling down on us. It’s all part of the fact that developers come into Miami in search of a quick buck and leave before they can see the impact that their building has left on our community…

    Codes aren’t what they should be. Especially for older buildings which do not have to meet the more current codes. This law should be updated to mandate changes to all existing structures…



  10. Manola Blablablanik    Thu Jul 27, 01:27 PM #  

    Um … I just love the bit about how it might interfere with traffic in and out of MIA!



  11. Miami Transit Man    Thu Jul 27, 01:55 PM #  

    Manola BBB, It wouldn’t actually… The airlines would be required to take-off at a slightly steeper incline than what they do now, which, they don’t want to do because it burns more fuel and thus increases their costs…

    No biggie, just fly into San Diego or LaGuardia one day (Depends on the weather conditions) and you’ll see two approaches that would be far worse than Miami’s. The FAA squeals ridiculously whenever a new project is announced in Miami…



  12. oldswish    Thu Jul 27, 04:27 PM #  

    I love it when someone uses the word squeal when talking about development.



  13. Barca    Sat Jul 29, 01:24 PM #  

    I’m not sure I agreee with the part about shoddy construction. Maybe in low rises in Hialeah, Little Havana, or Miami Beach, which are built by small General Contractors who use low quality subcontractors; but you’ll be hard pressed to find shoddy construction in buildings that cost $20+ million to construct, i.e 15 stories and up. The taller buildings in question, the ones that are changing the Miami skyline, are all built by large, reputable General Contractors(i.e Bovis, Coastal, Suffolk, etc). These guys are very selective in their choice of subcontractors; they only use large and well established companies that are able to handle projects of this magnitude, companies that have been tested over and over in previous projects. My point is that concrete is concrete, stucco is stucco, paint is paint, and so on… The buildings are designed by engineers and architects to comply with the building code. It’s possible for the developer to skimp on the minor, mostly irrelevant items such as the thickness of the drywall, or the quality of the finishes, but the rest is pretty much standard. You cant use lower strength concrete, weaker glass, and/or windows/storefronts that have not been tested and approved by the state. Rmember, the construction of a building is strictly regulated, and the parties involved (GC, bonding companies, Lenders, County, etc) have a big stake in each project; tere you can not make a blanket and uninformed statement like that without sounding like an ignoramus.



  14. NicFitKid    Sun Jul 30, 01:18 PM #  

    Hey Barca, if all high-rises have such high-quality construction, why was Brickell awash in broken glass after Wilma popped out all the windows?



  15. Manola Blablablanik    Sun Jul 30, 01:57 PM #  

    I hate to pop your cherries (LOL!) but forget even shoddy construction—how about outright design flaws? I’m not in a position to disclose much, but I do know that at least one of those big ass condos, which has already sold out but is not yet finished, had to be redesigned because of stupid shit like the doors not being the right size on the plans, etc;

    Realistically, in this city of glass, something’s bound to break. Nowhere in the world has 100% perfect construction. (And yes, Transit Man makes the point—it’s not the glass; it’s the installation. 99% of the windows could be installed properly and if 1 breaks, that’s it.)

    It all comes down to what I have always called hubris. If you live in glass houses, don’t throw stones and don’t complain.