Architecture

Now beaming up: new Miami condo sales center

 

aviglucci@MiamiHerald.com

Superstar architect Zaha Hadid went all the way for the developer of her downtown Miami condo tower: Her firm designed the sales center.

You can bet your sweet bippy this is no ordinary condo sales office. Not for $1 million.

It’s no knock to say it uncannily recalls the bridge of the starship Enterprise — not the low-budget version of the 1960s, but the high-design look of 1989’s Star Trek 5: The Final Frontier, if not the later one in the Picard-era films. Or maybe the remake of Tron.

The color scheme is a minimalist black and white with grey accents. The ceiling has Hadid’s signature swirling biomorphic shapes and blobby lights. In one corner there is a ghostly spinning hologram of Hadid’s tower. The furnishings are angular pieces from Hadid’s furniture line. The patterned wallpaper is also designed by the firm. Hi-def digital screens abound. It all feels as if you’d been beamed up to a futuristic cocoon of seduction.

Which is exactly the point.

“It was just a nice way to have a little bit of our input in the sales center and give people an experience of what the design can really bring to a space,’’ said Chris Lepine, project architect for Hadid.

Lepine said the look of the sales center, which opened with a party Friday night, is not meant to echo the design of the 1000 Museum tower, which features a bulging support exoskeleton that more than one observer has likened to a giant arachnid or the creature from Alien. The firm’s interior work on the tower is limited to public areas.

At the sales center, the Hadid team concentrated on the ceiling installation and made suggestions on the floorplan, Lepine said: Those ovaloid ceiling lights create focal points and are meant to imperceptibly guide prospective buyers through the sales gallery. The architects also suggested pieces from the firm’s line of furnishings, designed in-house at the firm’s London office.

The Iraqi-born Hadid, whose firm is also designing a sinuous, racetrack-like parking garage for Miami Beach, is about the only superstar female architect in a field notoriously dominated by men. Her buildings, which include the recently completed Guangzhou Opera House in China and the aquatic center for the London Olympics, are known for elastic designs that sometimes appear to be melting.

The sales center, which is open by appointment, is next door to the 1000 Museum site on the fifth floor of the 10 Museum Park tower, 1040 Biscayne Blvd.

If you must know, units in the Hadid tower, which is scheduled to start construction in mid-2014, start at $5 million.

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