By David Greenwald
It is important to consider the history of architecture and design in Miami Beach when discussing the 1111 project on Lincoln Road
. Ever since Ian Schrager
and Philippe Starck
had the foresight to reinvent the Delano Hotel
in the early '90s, much has been made about the resurgence of South Beach
in recent years.
Lincoln Road, in Miami Beach Florida, is a pedestrian mall. In 1960, the well-established local architect Morris Lapidus (Fontainebleau, Eden Roc) was commissioned by the city to redesign Lincoln Road. Lapidus' design highlighted the MiMo style that he pioneered a decade earlier. In 1979 Miami Beach's Art Deco Historic District was listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The district has the largest collection of Art Deco architecture in the world and is comprised of hundreds of hotels, apartments, and other structures erected between 1923 and 1943.
But what is 1111 Lincoln Road? Designed by the Pritzker Prize-winning Herzog & de Meuron (Tate Modern, Beijing National Stadium, De Young Museum), it is a parking garage, a retail space, an event space, offices, and exclusive condominiums. The building sits on the West end of Lincoln Road, at the intersection of Alton Road, across from the Lincoln Cinemas (Zyscovich Architects). After many years spent finessing city politicians, zoning planners, and dealing with the usual opposition from local residents and business owners, it is the latest point of interest in a city with a rich design history.
The brainchild of developer Robert Wennett, 1111 was cleverly conceived and made attractive to the city commissioners and residents as a way for South Beach to have more public parking. Wennett feels that, "Part civic and part commercial, 1111 [will become] a cultural destination and a central gathering place." While Wennett considered other architects such as Jean Nouvel,
Diller Scofidio + Renfro, and
Campo Baeza, Herzog & de Meuron seems to have been a wise choice; asking such acclaimed and talented architects to design the structure only adds to the brilliance of the project.
Visiting the garage during the day and at night enables you to understand the full potential of the project. Taking the elevator at the core of the structure from street level to Level 7 you are immediately struck by the scale of the 20-32 foot ceiling. It's not theatre. It's not drama. It all makes sense. Le Corbusier and Ando's use of concrete is borrowed here; Herzog & de Meuron have been able to make a heavy construction material both beautiful and light. The calibre of this work and clever use of materials makes you forget about the recent, poorly constructed massive buildings that sit empty in downtown Miami.
The block was previously a vehicular thru-street, which has been closed to traffic and replaced with a newly landscaped pedestrian plaza. The street level retail shops will feature a Taschen bookstore, a Y3/Adidas boutique, a Nespresso outlet, and a Shake Shack burger joint from New York City. Level 5 features a unique retail opportunity and is the only space available above the street level shops. Facing Alton Road, the bay, and downtown (West) it is 1,800 square feet with 22-foot high windows, and a kinetic ceiling. The roof of the parking deck will have an extraordinary penthouse loft. In an adjoining building, there are four residential units designed by Herzog & de Meuron. At approximately 2,500 square feet each, the units will feature courtyard gardens, skylights, and each unit will be deeded two parking spaces in the garage.