Tuesday October 23, 2012
This is new to me: an architectural fly-through of the new science museum building going up downtown next to PAMM. Pretty awesome. Also: huge, right? The video is silent, so I’m adding a separate player underneath, with suitable rendering fly-through music for you. Hit play on both:
Tuesday September 11, 2012
Dating back to 1925 the Gusman/Olympia Theater is one of Miami’s real treasures. Last Saturday, as part of Downtown Art Days, the Gusman’s assistant director Robert Geitner gave a tour of the theater.
Thursday June 28, 2012
The sinister looking main office building of Dade County Public Schools has had a banner on its south-facing wall forever, and for years it was a close-up of one ernest-looking student doing her work. Boring, and due to budget cuts that banner stayed up way longer than it should have, and over the years in the sun got embarrassingly faded and sad looking. Well, the school board finally decided to spring for a new banner last year, and this is the result. I can see how the intentions behind the photo shoot that led to this image were good, but the fact that none of the people who saw this image on its way to being hung from the side of the building said anything, well, it just tells you everything you need to know about the people in charge of educating our future leaders.
I want to count the ways in which this picture is terrible, but I’ll just note that the DCPS staff decided — at the very start — that sending a photographer into a school to take a photo of actual students actually learning could not result in a presentable photo and therefore they’d have to “stage” something.
Tuesday April 22, 2008
The new ginger-bread house bridge in Hollywood.
Monday April 21, 2008
The Joseph Young House, built by the founder of Hollywood as his residence, is up for sale. The house is from 1925, is a huge 7,200 square feet, and is on the National Register of Historic Places. Asking price is “$2.39 — 2.79 million.”
Wednesday February 27, 2008
Empire World Towers: It looks like this crazy thing is actually going to get built. It’s over 1000 feet tall, 93 stories, will cost a cool billion, and take at least four years to even break ground. Originally seen here.
Tuesday February 19, 2008
Monday December 3, 2007
Here’s the model of the new Herzog and De Meuron Miami Art Museum building. Not pictured: some of the vertical columns are hanging vegetation. Looks spectacular, although I didn’t make it to the museum this weekend to see for myself.
Monday November 26, 2007
Herzog & deMeuron’s plans for the new Miami Art Museum building will be revealed during Art Basel.
Wednesday November 7, 2007
Jorge Rivera, P.A., Immigration Law Office. I love this building.
Monday October 1, 2007
Much of the fault for the less-than-ideal experience of going to the Carnival Center falls on the architect, Caesar Pelli. I lamented the selection of Pelli’s firm for the Center over two years ago, and it’s nice to see the dots connected this way.
Monday September 17, 2007
Doug transcribes the South Beach architecture walking tour, full of interesting tidbits about buildings I see every day. Just saved myself $15.
Wednesday August 29, 2007
The architecture firm of Cesar Pelli, which designed the Carnival Center, is being sued in California for cost overruns on a performing arts center project there. File under: things that make you go “hmm…” Among the complaints are seats with obstructed sight lines and other things that are clearly design flaws and incompetence (if true), which brings me back to my bemoaning, back in 2005, the selection of Pelli over Rem Koolhaas.
A response from Pelli’s firm:
Because buildings last for a very long time, we have always designed our projects with a long-term perspective. As with the Carnival Center, we designed the Orange County Performing Arts Center for the enjoyment of the children of the community and the generations to come. These issues will sort themselves out over time.
Which to me sounds like they wanted to say: “It’s just money. You expect us to worry about money when we’re building our monuments to the future? How short-sighted and small-minded you non-creative scum can be!”
Thursday May 3, 2007
A state panel has selected four companies to build and operate the Port of Miami tunnel. Against all odds, this project seems to be moving forward. Oh, also, Grimshaw Architects will be doing the Science Museum in Bicentennial Park.
Tuesday April 10, 2007
5 Architectural firms have been asked to submit proposals for a new Miami Science Museum building to go next to the MAM building in Museum Park.
Thursday February 8, 2007
Here’s a better picture of the banner on the SunTrust building at the west end of Lincoln Road. This is somehow related to the coming Herzog & de Meuron project next door. It actually looks perfectly like two buildings from one vantage point as you drive by, but I couldn’t get to it without getting run over. For those who’ve been sleeping, H&dM are also doing the MAM building.
Wednesday February 7, 2007
The crappy scan of the Frank Gehry building got some attention, so I e-mailed NWS for a digital copy, and here it is (click it for a screen-filling full sized version). It’s obvious now what’s going on — the rendering isn’t true to color, and the newspaper reproduction obscured the building’s most interesting features: an internal atrium that allows those inside and out to see the performance spaces and rehersal rooms (according to the Bloomberg article).
I recently attended a Musicians Forum that included a recording of an internet feed from video confrencing between some NWS musicians and a Chicago-based contemporary composer. The new building will be wired to make those sorts of interactions an everyday thing.
I had major trouble figuring out where exactly this building will sit, and how the picture above orients to the world. After a phone call to NWS and some quiet time clicking back and forth between the photo and the map, I think I’ve got it. Picture yourself standing in front of the current Lincoln Theater. Now walk down Drexel avenue, around the side of the theater, and behind. Keep going about halfway down the block. Now turn back around the way you came, and you’re just about at the vantage point of the rendering. The glass facade of the building faces east, and the viewer is facing Northwest. The building sits on what is currently a big parking lot, and which will, when it’s all finished, contain a garage, this building, and a new park. What I can’t seem to figure out is why 100% of the cars in the rendering are German.
Anyway, viewed in this light, and with a bit of imagination and optimism, I think this building is going to be suitably spectacular.
Monday January 22, 2007
Jacques Herzog is one of the architects of Herzog & de Meuron, who have been selected to design the new building for the Miami Art Museum in Bicentennial Park. On Friday, he gave a talk at the University of Miami. And while he didn’t reveal any design (it will probably be revealed during 2007 Basel) or even discuss the project directly at great length, he oriented his discussion around concerns related to the project (and Miami in general), and so gave many hints as to what may be coming. Follow some observations I found interesting from the talk:
- “Art Deco is what makes Miami specific.” But architecturally, Art Deco is little more then “decorated boxes;” that is, it engages little beyond the visual sense, and does not address the unique concerns of a building in Miami.
- Those unique concerns are heat, humidity, hurricanes, etc.
- Architectural reference points are the South American tradition, as well as the Spanish, Italian, etc. (places that have hot climates).
- Their Dominus Winery, for example, has an outer wall made of loose rock, held in place by a steel skeleton and mesh-like metal. The loose rocks allow air (and light) into the building, so that it does not require cooling.
- Their Centro Cultural on the Canary Islands in Spain achieved a similar effect with different means: a thick concrete outer wall punctured with a series of pixel-shaped holes (think Tetris pieces) based on images of water ripples. The effect, in part, was a blurring of the lines between indoor/outdoor and public/private spaces, which came across as a big goal for the MAM project.
- A shopping mall of sorts they did in Munich employed long strands of hanging plants; a sort of aerial garden. The plants create a feeling of being outdoors by their very presence, but even affected the air inside (oxygen, humidity).
- For all intents and purposes, the design of the park, and H&dM will have to work within its parameters. This doesn’t seem like a problem, since their projects are always about addressing the needs of the project, not about adhering to some “signature style.”
- Other important goals: dynamic buildings that look different at different times (day/night, etc.), non-hierarchical floors (ie, the top floor doesn’t come across as more important).
- The Tate Modern conversion again created large public spaces for non-museum goers. Also an emphasis on breaking up larger spaces into smaller irregular ones, which can serve as semi-private places for small groups.
- MAM isn’t the only project H&dM have going in Miami — there’s a parking lot/mixed-use structure going up on the west end of Lincoln Road Mall, next to the SunTrust building. We got to see a slide of a rendering, but it doesn’t seem to be on the internet. Looked dope. This will be finished before the MAM.
- The firm has 40 to 50 projects going at any given point, and employs about 250 people. Their largest scale project is currently the Bejing National Stadium being built for the 2008 Olympics.
Update: The Lincoln Road project (dangerous Flash w/video+music ahead)(thanks, Blingtown).
Wednesday January 3, 2007
David Byrne’s account of visiting Miami for Art Basel: “why am I enjoying the art so much? Shouldn’t I be taking a more cynical attitude, with all this nonsense going on all around? Am I naïve? I realized the banana doesn’t know much about United Fruit and its nasty ways as it grows in the fields . . . The next day was overcast as I rode my bike over the Venetian causeway, a lovely island-hopping ride — bridge, island, bridge, island and partly shady too . . . I went for a pee and when I opened the bathroom door a couple were coming out of the one stall — ooops, I guess the cocaine days are not over down here just yet.” Just skip the beginning, where he waxes philosophical on the evolutionary function of art, and read to the end. Also see a slideshow of Byrne’s favorite pieces from the fairs. (via rakontur)
I love me a little digital rendering in the morning. Click for extra mega-sized, with vividly obvious seams between reality and CG. These buildings, under construction on the north side of the Miami River, are modestly titled “Epic.” Prices are about what you’d expect: $500,000 – $5,000,000 per unit. Like all with-it people, places, and things, Epic has both a website and a MySpace. Both are worth visiting, for more spectacular photography.
Seriously, though, this is a primo spot — downtown Miami, surrounded by water on two sides, in the middle of real-city action.
Friday September 15, 2006
The architects for the new Miami Art Museum building have been selected: Herzog & de Meuron. I’m officially exited. The decision was suggested by Terence Riley and approved by a civic panel. The building might open in 2010. Tyler Green says, “Miami is the most fascinating museum city in America.” (via Riptide)
Update: Verticus went to the meeting, pitching Gehry, and was not pleased with the proceedings.
Thursday August 10, 2006
Jonathan does the Atlantis. The Atlantis defined Miami architecture in the 1980s: sleek, absurd, and best appreciated while zipping by at 60 miles per hour on I-95. Heck, it’s right there in the Miami Vice opening credits.
A peculiar thing happened along the way. In the 90s, they built up a wall between the Northbound and Southbound sides of I-95, so you can’t see it when you’re going South. The only way to get a good look is to crane your neck almost completely around while going Northbound. Unless you know it’s there, you’ll miss it; in fact, for awhile I assumed it had been torn down; was just aware of not having seen it in a long time. But there it is, still looking much bigger then its 20 floors. The bummer of it is that it would have made a great home for the Miami Children’s Museum. Instead, the Atlantis fades from our consciousness, replaced, I suppose, by Espiritu.
Wednesday May 31, 2006
A nice article in the New York Times on the new Miami architecture. I still say that Koolhaas woulda been better then Pelli, but it’s all good. (via Miami Transit)