OMA Wins Miami Beach Convention Center

Courtesy of

After months of competition, debate, and quite a fair share of controversy (from the Miami politiicans that is), OMA and South Beach ACE have beaten to win the Miami Beach Convention Center masterplan.

Despite the last-ditch efforts of the Miami politicians to keep the drama going (including a presentation on the supposed superiority of the BIG plan, due to time-sensitivity and cost-efficiency) and even the surprising revelation that negotiations with the teams had been taped (we assume to monitor corruption, as accusations of back-handed deals have haunted the vote), the Miami Commissioners approved the South Beach ACE team over the Portman-CMC team (with BIG) in a five to two vote.

The 52 acre mixed-used development will not only include an iconic new convention center and hotel, but will revitalize this underutilized area of Miami Beach with a network of undulating, green spaces that integrate into Miami’s urban fabric. As OMA Partner-in-charge of the project, Shohei Shigematsu, and Rem Koolhaas said in a statement: “We are thrilled to be chosen to develop one of the most significant urban districts in the US. Our design will reintegrate Miami’s vital convention center with its neighbors, offering new facilities as well as amplifying the character of this exciting city.”

Last month we interviewed Shohei Shigematsu about the Miami Project. Check out that interview, as well as a short video of the proposal itself, after the break…

The budget of the $1 Billion plan, of which $600 million will be funded publicly via the increase of certain taxes, will now face negotiations, so the fate of OMA’s plan for the Convention Center remains to be seen. However, assuming voter approval, the convention center and hotel should open in 2018.

Story via Miami Herald

Cite: Quirk, Vanessa. "OMA Wins Miami Beach Convention Center" 18 Jul 2013. ArchDaily. Accessed 29 May 2015. <>
  • Ari

    Thank God this is over.

    The amount of political bickering, drama, architectural one-up-manship, “vote for us on Huffington post!” nonsense, etc. that went into publicizing two extremely banal proposals was pretty pathetic. Glad we can move on.

    • loos

      totally agree – so much grandstanding for such mediocre designs

    • Anonymous

      mr Ari. Since you are the ‘Yoda’ of architectural criticism in the 21st century, clearly you should’ve lead this design team and come up with an award winning proposal! I would love to know your personal opinion on what leading architect of the times should’ve designed this project?
      I don’t know, maybe ‘Ari’ is the pen name for ‘Robert Venturi’, maybe some frills and thrills and a couple columns would’ve got you off?

      But please grace us all with your distinguishable knowledge, i’d love to hear your views??

      • loos

        wow, “anonymous,” just wow. what Ari was getting at is that the amount of attention this showdown got in both architectural and mainstream media was a bit absurd. both firms are capable of better work and it seemed oddly blown out of proportion. Nowhere in there did Ari claim to be the ‘yoda’ of architectural critcism. and why drag Venturi into this? geez, take a xanax and CTFD.

  • BE

    Both proposals were terrible. “OMA wins” but Miami Beach doesn’t.

  • mukui muriu

    another frightining mega project

  • Trepz

    So many people in Miami struggling without work, loosing their homes, astranomical living costs ie: food & gas… And we as architects bickering about a building built by “star” architects that will represent millions upon millions of tax payer dollars that can go to use in sooooo many other necessary areas of our economy. For those who argue the jobs it going to create, if you live in Miami you very well know the corruption and back door deals that goes on in this city will far exceed any good that this project can bring via creating jobs and opportunity. As for the future the already over taxed citizens will bare the full burden of a “star” architects pipe dream.

    • Jack

      With all the problems in the world, we shouldn’t land rovers on Mars for a geologist’s pipe dream. With all the problems in the world, we shouldn’t commission public sculptures for an artist’s pipe dream.

      I say put up some Costco cinder block buildings and call it good enough. Or better, build nothing and let it go to Detroit. Spend money “somewhere else.”

  • David Vera

    As a Canadian… it gives me another reason to go visit Miami. I am happy that so much attention was given to the architecture of a project. It is exciting and should happen more often. Good design will attract people and create a healthy city. Canadians… book your flights to Florida!

  • Josh Gonsalves

    Miami Beach has a horrible flooding problem. I like the design, but I hope the it can cope with that factor. I also hope Miami politics doesn’t screw this one up.