Miami Beach

Record-setting sculptor builds sand castles on beach in Bal Harbour

A sandcastle sculpture, which sits on the beach in Bal Harbour.
A sandcastle sculpture, which sits on the beach in Bal Harbour. For the Miami Herald

Tourists and residents walking on Bal Harbour’s beach last weekend encountered a sand castle building featuring a mash-up of some of the world’s most iconic landmarks including the Leaning Tower of Pisa, the Statue of Liberty and Mount Rushmore.

The sand castle was displayed on the beach just north of the 96th Street entrance. It was constructed from 45 tons of eco-friendly sand. The artwork was 17 feet tall and 14 feet wide and 12 feet deep.

South Florida-based Artex Productions in partnership with The Sand Sculpture Company created the artwork, which was filmed in its entirety for a Visa and Orbitz commercial.

Chris Dreseris, Artex Productions’s executive producer, said Bal Harbour was a prime location for the art work.

“Since we are a Miami-based production company we know where the nicer private beaches are and the first thing that came to my head was Bal Harbour because it is gorgeous out there,” he said. “The people of Bal Harbour are nice and polite.”

The four sand architects flew in last week.

Ted Siebert, owner of The Sand Sculpture Company, said there was lots of work to be done in a short period.

“We worked an average of 160 man hours into it,” said Siebert, who has been in the Guinness Book of World records for the tallest sand sculpture.

Siebert said the sand sculpture could last up to a year if well maintained.

The commercial is expected to be completed before the end of November.