A pivotal element of Miami Beach’s development as an international cultural and business hub, the redesigned Miami Beach Convention Center (MBCC) is uniquely woven into the heart of the City, immersing visitors in the cultural, social and natural landscape of Miami Beach. Visitors are immediately drawn to the Center’s organic architectural language reminiscent of natural elements of Miami’s ocean, beach, and underwater life.
Designed as a cultural representation of the City, the exterior façade features over 500 unique aluminum “fins” – angled aluminum linear forms – to create a curving undulation reflective of the nearby ocean waves. Fentress Architects conceived a customized parametric software to automate the design and development of the fins, resulting in a highly effective and seamless design and fabrication process.
Upon entry into the 1,435,000-square-foot MBCC, the facades’ angled fins create a curtain wall that filters dappled daylight throughout the lobbies and pre-function spaces to provide an instinctive transition between indoor and outdoor environments. Swooping curves, glistening white columns, and subdued lighting punctuate the pre-function lobbies and 60,000-square-foot Grand Ballroom, drawing inspiration from Miami’s modernist architecture.
The project also intended to provide a resilient hub while addressing rising sea levels that threaten the region. The elevation of critical building systems to the second floor allows the building to remain operational during hurricanes and raised floor elevations rise above sea level. To create an outdoor hub of activity, we transformed six acres of surface parking lot into a lush public park, which includes a tropical garden, game lawn, shaded areas, and veterans plaza. Bent Pool, a public art installation by international artists Elmgreen and Dragset, celebrates Miami Beach’s dynamic culture and natural environment. By adding 12 acres of greenspace, we increased pervious acreage of the 25-acre campus by 245% and significantly reduced heat island effect.