The idea is to see the future but always based on the past, Faena said. We want to bring back the old glamour of the time of the Saxony, of that 40s moment in Miami Beach.
The streamlined, asymmetrical shape of the mid-rise building was designed in cooperation with engineers to dissipate hurricane strength-winds and provide maximum shade to the units through the use of uncommonly broad, wing-like aleros, or covered verandas, that ring the tower, said Foster + Partners senior partner Brandon Haw. Some of the units have nearly as much floor space outside on the verandas as inside. The sensation for the occupants should be similar to sailing on a yacht, he and Faena say.
Faena also insisted the buildings parking be put underground at substantial cost to avoid the typical tower-on-a-box model and allow views of the ocean at ground level. The tower will be raised 30 feet on columns over shallow pools of water and a subtropical garden. The structural walls will be polished black concrete. The elevator doors will be black stainless steel.
The attention to detail from the outside to the inside, and every aspect of living in it, is apart from any other project, Haw said. Alan is demanding. He is not your typical developer. He has an idiosyncratic way of going about things, but he creates excellent environments for people.
Across the street, on the two blocks wedged between Collins and Indian Creek Drive, Faena has proven no less exacting, said OMA partner Shohei Shigematsu. There Faena wanted a succession of accessible, linked public spaces a domed auditorium inside the rounded corner of the cultural center, which would also function as the hotel ballroom; the shops the courtyard in the Atlantic Beach building; and the adjacent mechanical garage, which would also have shops on the ground floor and a restaurant on top.
He is repeating a mix of culture and commercial with the core idea of making a neighborhood where theres not really one there, Shigematsu said.
Faena said he and his management team from Buenos Aires are moving to the Beach to complete the project, which they intend to manage long-term. Hands-on, he said, is the only way to make it work the way he wants it to.
Were doing a project to stay, Faena said. Its a neighborhood for the future. Thats why were taking it so seriously. The big winner is the city. Its the people of Miami Beach.