BIG recognizes the limitless potential of Miami as it superimposes energized urban experiences with historical anchors, and the irresistible Atlantic coast. Ingels has already channeled his focus to south Florida and has recently landed two big commissions in the area: Coconut Grove and the Marina Lofts. The Miami Convention Center would be his opportunity to truly root his practice in the continental U.S. and more so in South Florida. If BIG were to out power his mentor, Koolhass, this go-around, he might just need to set up shop in Miami. When Ingels initially stepped foot onto American soil, his efforts were invested in the BIG Apple, but it now seems that Miami has been more promising, as BIG has more commissions there than any other city in the U.S. It may just be that time for BIG to return the generosity that Miami has shown him by establishing a satellite office there - which would create more creative jobs within the design industry for the eager, local citizens.
Here is what the developers have to say about the project:
“We have devised a strategy that combines urban planning and landscape design to create a neighborhood characterized by human scale, pedestrian connections, shaded spaces with public oriented programs lining the streets and squares. A neighborhood that, depending on the season, the weekday, or even the time of day can be perceived as a lively downtown neighborhood or an inviting public park.” Bjarke Ingels, Creative Director BIG
“Rather than scattering all the program across the 52 acre site we have decided to concentrate it around the center piece of our public realm - Miami Beach Square bringing focus to the renovated Jackie Gleason Theater, the entrance of the convention center and for the first time ever creating a worthy civic presence to Miami Beach City Hall.” Jamie Maslyn Larsen, West 8, Creator of Soundscape Park
“Realizing that a challenge that seemed to be driven by two incompatible agendas was actually the opportunity – to create a convention center district that is not only for convention-goers but, more importantly, for residents.” Jack Portman, Portman Holdings and JPA
Check out the renderings and plans by BIG:
Koolhaas in Miami (Miami Herald)
BIG in Miami (Miami Herald)
BIG may have great graphics and diagrams to explain their designs, but when it comes down to it they struggle to deliver. This is where OMA has my vote. Koolhaas has the experience to transform and revitalize cities like none other. Miami needs a lasting effect, not a waning fad. Miami needs Koolhaas. His elegant proposal will prove more flexible and timeless than BIG, albeit a dynamic and engaging design. Check out the proposal with Koolhaas. It will be a tough choice for the City of Miami.