We've been talking about it for weeks and now it's finally here: an opportunity to roam a gigantic convention center and check out manufacturing supplies while mingling (drinking, eating, gossiping) with architects and the press who love them once the sun goes down.
That's correct: this year's AIA National Convention is in full, wilting bloom here in Miami, where temperatures are currently hovering around 92 degrees -- in the shade.
Let's not let a little weather run the fun, though, especially when it comes to toasting architecture contemporaries in what is likely the most exciting building constructed in Miami in the last decade. Herzog & de Meuron's parking garage at 11 11 Lincoln Road -- on the western end of the Morris Lapidus-designed Lincoln Road Mall -- is a marvel of aesthetics and engineering. Sharp, thin cantilevers of concrete float on V-ed pillars, barely enclosed and open to vistas of South Beach, Miami.
We hosted a cocktail hour with SCI-Arc on the 7th Floor of 11 11 Lincoln Road last night; guest appearances included the developer Robert Wennett (who is having a killer new pad built on the roof, complete with garden and swimming pool) and two of the Four Florida Moderns we told you about earlier this week. Pictures and recap after the break.
Rene Gonzalez scored the plum job of designing a retail boutique on the garage's fifth floor. The fractals of glass run from the floor all the way across the ceiling, reflecting the concrete columns outside the space and the city behind. In a word: surreal.
Also: it's difficult to find brands like Rodarte, Rick Owens, and Chrome Hearts in Miami, but here they are... in a parking garage, no less.
We ended the night at a fete with Oldcastle Building Envelope (née "Glass") in the 40th floor penthouse of The Setai. Most hotels in South Beach are spiffy, but this place does not mess around. (We heard the penthouse apartment clocks in at 10,000 square feet!) For all that size, it still manages to be intimate, sexy, and comfortable. Our view from the top, below: