Miami Beach Design Review Board Unanimously Approves Design of Convention Center Renovation and Public Space Design Project
The Miami Beach Design Review Board unanimously approved the design for the Miami Beach Convention Center and Convention Center Public Spaces, including a new signature six-acre Public Park and Park Pavilion designed by West 8.
Fentress Architects is leading the $500 million design of the Convention Center Renovation, Arquitectonica is designing the facades for the Convention Center building, and West 8 is leading the design of the public spaces and park pavilion building.
Situated at the crossroads of residential neighborhoods, the New World Symphony campus, Miami Beach Botanical Garden, and Lincoln Road, the renewed 40-acre Convention Center district dramatically improves the day-to-day experience for residents and convention attendees alike. Along with a completely renovated Convention Center, twelve acres of new public spaces are being added to the district, restitching the convention center to its neighborhoods and providing shady, relaxing green spaces. Design Review Board member Edgar Sarli commented that the park design “will make this place a paradise. I’m happy to be a neighbor that will be able to experience the park.’’
The Convention Center’s existing 5.8 acre truck staging and parking lot is transformed into a new world-class public park with a plant pallet that showcases the unique flora and botany of Miami Beach, adds 175 new shade trees, and provides flexible lawn areas. A Veteran’s Memorial is designed to seamlessly weave into the park experience while providing a place to honor and tell the unique story of Miami Beach’s Veterans.
The Park Pavilion is an elegant restaurant and public amenity building. West 8’s design inspiration is based on the iconic quality of the umbrellas at restaurants along Lincoln Road. The Park Pavilion has its own custom concrete “umbrellas” that cast soft shade with ribbons of sunlight on the paving. The tall umbrellas and full-length glass that encloses the program space provide transparent visual connections from inside the building to the park along three facades.
The district’s streetscapes have a boulevard-like feel, where pedestrians can walk or sit under lush shade trees with a mosaic of paving materials that convey a sense of quality. The reconfigured Convention Center Drive is an important connection to Lincoln Road and a dignified drop off for taxis and buses for convention-attendees.
Another new three-and-a half acre park is located at the north side of the Convention Center. Almost two acres of hardscape and buildings are being removed, opening up green spaces that refocus visitors to the historic Carl Fisher Clubhouse, the City’s oldest building, and the Collins Canal. West 8’s design has ample shade trees, a butterfly garden, a ballroom terrace, a plant palate that showcases native plants, and bike-friendly pathways next to the Collins Canal. Most notably, a majestic Strangler Fig is preserved and celebrated as a feature in this park area.
Ground breaking on the Convention Center Renovation project is scheduled to begin in December 2015 after Art Basel. The Convention Center renovation will be completed in 2017, and the park will be open in 2018.
To see more on the project: Miami Beach Convention Center
Project Team: Fentress Architects (prime architect), West 8 (lead landscape architect), Arquitectonica (building skin design), Kimley Horn (civil engineering), M-E Engineers (electrical, lighting),Delta Fountains (water features)
West 8 is an award-winning international office for urban design and landscape architecture founded in 1987. Over the last 25 years West 8 has established itself as a leading practice with an international team of 70 architects, urban designers, landscape architects and industrial engineers. West 8 developed projects all over the world in places such as Copenhagen, London, Moscow, New York, Madrid, Toronto and Amsterdam. The office gained international recognition with projects such as Schouwburgplein in Rotterdam (NL), Borneo-Sporenburg in Amsterdam (NL), Jubilee Gardens in London (UK), Expo \’02 in Yverdon-les-Bains (CH) and Miami Beach SoundScape Park (US). Many of the projects are the result of groundbreaking entries in important international competitions. Recently won competitions include Toronto Waterfront in Toronto (CA), Governors Island in New York (USA) and Yongsan Park in Seoul (KR).
Amongst the numerous awards received by West 8 are the Honor Award of the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA), Lifetime Achievement Award for Architecture 2011, Mondriaan Fund (formerly BKVB), the International Urban Landscape Gold Award (IULA), the Prix de Rome, the Dutch Maaskant Award, the Bijhouwer Award, the Rosa Barba First European Landscape Prize, the Green Pin and the Veronica Rudge Green Prize for Urban Design.