comer tierra
e.g. individual stories understood within the context of social and historical experience
e.g. the fusion of the personal with the collective
e.g. the human condition

international urban design competition | miami, florida

The proposal includes the re-design of Miami’s waterfront providing a new prominent civic center, an architecture museum, city hall, cathedral, multi-family housing, retail, and an urban park. Within this new park we have proposed pavilions in the landscape to extend the center of the city to the waterfront. There were two major drivers behind our approach to the competition - economic viability and cultural contextualism.

“According to a 2009 UBS study of 73 world cities, Miami was ranked as the richest city in the United States, and the world’s fifth-richest city in terms of purchasing power.” “Miami is nicknamed the “Capital of Latin America”, is the 2nd largest U.S. city (after El Paso) with a Spanish-speaking majority, and the largest city with a Cuban-American plurality”

The economic potential in Miami and it’s established yet still growing identity as a destination for South American tourists define Miami today as a unique place in America. Our proposal edited the focus to three key components City Hall (democracy | political expression), Marina and Civic Center (leisure & entertainment as economic drivers) and a Cathedral (religious center to welcome secular society). The goal for these spaces include an increased opportunity for transparency of politics & a platform for resurgence of grassroot politics, a new marketplace for leisure and community interaction and a blurring of the boundaries between civic and secular space.

part 01 | miami city hall

City hall reinforces the edge of Biscayne Boulevard while extending the park onto its roof and into the city. Its placement in the city grid helps increase the density of the city while providing a solid contrast to the expansive void of the adjacent park. Also the location at the termination of Port Boulevard emphasizes its importance as a civic destination. The building form is created by sliding back the upper floors to reveal the existing adjacent Freedom Tower, a memorial to Cuban immigration, to the south and Bayfront Park. The multi-leveled facade becomes a tiered venue for public activities including activism, public protest and outdoor weddings.

part 02 | marina and civic center

Miami is one of many cities home to immigrants optimistic for a better life in America. The American dream includes opportunity to improve their family’s private life, their economic futures, their business and academic successes. What does the physical manifestation of this dream look like? A reflection of oneself? An opportunity to reach out and attempt to better oneself? A vision of utopia? The proposed building is divided into two halves. The lower half constructed out of stone, is solid, monolithic and permanent. Not unlike the core motivation behind achieving the American dream the base is of good quality and substance. Retail and restaurants fill the base. These spaces are a retreat from the sun and a temptation to distract one of their path. Hopefully adding a spontaneity to the arcade and a chance for interaction between all. The upper portion of the building is the utopian dream of society. Reflective glass, bulbous windows, white walls represent the softness and fragility of our dreams.

part 03 | miami cathedral

The form of the cathedral is the three dimensional representation of a hypotrochoid found in the child’s toy, the Spirograph. Children may have extensive exposure to religion, desired or not, through many religious rites of passage including baptism, circumcision, bar mitzvah and bat mitzvah and religious education. Two different patterns in opposite rotations created the complex structural frame. With the removal of a few motions, additional openings emerged. The program of the cathedral is arranged into a halo. The nave of the church is open to the sky allowing a direct connection to the heavens.
part 01
part 02
part 03