Watch this video tour of the Bacardi Building in Miami, Florida, by the grandson of the original founder. The building, built in 1962, became the headquarters of the company for fifty years and has become an iconic modernist symbol in the city with an additional building added to the property in 1970. The building is designed by Enrique Guitierrez. The unique facade of the building was designed by ceramic artist Francisco Brennand using 20,000 tiles. The building resonates with Miami’s culture and has become a landmark for nearby residents. Tito Bacardi, who is the tour guide in the video, explains with pride how its the company’s legacy has become intertwined with the architecture – a building that represented Bacardi’s relocation from Cuba to America.
In early October, the National Young Arts Association announced that it would be the new owner of the complex, which includes the tower and the eight story annex. Frank Gehry was announced as the architect to transforming the site’s parking lot into a park that will connect with a Gehry-designed performance hall just north of the existing buildings. The exterior will remain untouched, preserving the unique quality of the modernist building. The new plan calls for the tower to house an art gallery, with artist-in-residence spaces plus administration while the annex will contain studio and classroom spaces, such as recording and visual arts studios.