Preserving Frank Lloyd Wright’s Hemicycle Spring House

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The Spring House, also known as the Clifton and George Lewis II House, is the only private house designed by Frank Lloyd Wright that was ever built in Florida. The design embodies the final and shortest stylistic phase in Wright’s career – the hemicycle style. The plan is characterized by concentric and intersecting circles, while the elevations are consistent with Wright’s other designs in how they accentuate the horizontal.

After the death of her husband in 1996, Clifton Lewis formed the Spring House Institute, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to preserving the historic property and turning it into a public legacy. In order to restore and complete the house (some elements were never built, including a semi-circular pool on one of the terraces), the organization needs to raise $256,250, which will then be matched by the Division of Historical Resources to pay the $512,500 purchase price. To meet the Division of Historical Resources’ October 15th deadline, they have launched an IndieGoGo campaign with a target of $100,000. For more on the historical landmark and the organization’s fundraising efforts, keep reading after the break.

St. Petersburg Calls for New Pier Design Submissions

St Petersburg’s pier as it is today. Image © Flickr CC User Robert Neff

The city of St. Petersburg, Florida is once more seeking candidates for the design of its new pier. The call comes two years after a pier design by Michael Maltzan Architecture was selected over rival schemes by BIG and West 8, but was eventually turned down after significant public criticism. To avoid a repeat of that incident, the current selection process for candidates and their subsequent proposals will incorporate more community input.

More on the competition after the break

Retirement Community Is Fastest Growing Metropolitan Area in U.S.

Residents drive golf carts through the main square of the Spanish Springs neighborhood of The Villages, . Image © Phelan M. Ebenhack/AP Photo

While other cities in the are shrinking, the world’s largest retirement community – The Villages - is booming. Completely devoid of crime, traffic, pollution, as well as children, the fastest growing metropolitan area in the country raises serious questions about the concentrated demographic’s future infrastructural needs. After all, by 2050, the over-60 set is expected to almost triple to 2 billion. To learn more, check out this fascinating article on Bloomberg.

Perkins + Will Designs FIU Complex for the Research of Extreme Natural Events

South East View. Image Courtesy of

Florida International University’s Stempel Complex, designed by Perkins + Will, will be completed this fall. The complex will house the Extreme Event Institute, which will bring together a number of the university’s research and academic programs to study “extreme natural events.” The form of the building itself takes inspiration from natural disasters such as hurricanes and earthquakes, and is centered around an oval-shaped courtyard. 

Design with Company to Erect “Many-a-chair” Monument in Miami

Winning Entry / MMM by Design with Company. Image © Design with Company

Non-profit organization DawnTown has chosen Design with Company as the winner of its second official design-build competition. The Chicago-based practice’s winning entry, Pavilion MMM ( Many-a-chair Monument), will tell the multicultural story of Miami through metaphor by constructing a temporary monument of recycled chairs collected from local yard sales on Miami’s Cultural Plaza.

Paul Rudolph’s Iconic Walker Guest House To Be Re-Constructed

Walker Guest House / Sanibel Island. Image © Ezra Stoller / Esto

The Sarasota Architectural Foundation (SAF) has announced that a replica of Paul Rudolph’s Walker Guest House will be constructed at the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art in , Florida. It is hoped the iconic, 24′ x 24′ vacation cottage will be opened to the public by 2015, after which it will be disassembled and transported to select museums around the country.

More information about the Walker Guest House, after the break…

Arquitectonica Proposes Beckham’s MLS Stadium for Port of Miami

© and Arquitectonica

-based Arquitectonica and 360 Architecture have unveiled preliminary details for a 25,000-seat, open-air Major League Soccer (MLS) stadium at the Port of Miami. One of 30 locations currently being reviewed as a potential site, the downtown location could serve as the home for David Beckham’s MLS expansion team as early as 2018.

OMA, Foster + Partners, Heatherwick Studio Recruited to Design ‘Faena District’ of Miami Beach

Faena Art Center. Image Courtesy of Faena

Alan Faena — prominent argentine developer  — is partnering with an all-star cast of celebrated artists, architects and Hollywood darlings to revive the decadence of the roaring twenties, envisioning a booming cultural “epicenter” for the city of Miami. The development, Faena Miami Beach, would include the restoration of the historic Saxony Hotel (the original symbol of opulent resorts along Florida beaches), the construction of new luxury apartments by Foster + Partners and the Rem Koolhaas/OMA-designed Faena Arts Center and Artist Residency. Review them all after the break.

Alfonso Architects Selected to Design Museum of American Arts and Crafts

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Alfonso Architects have been awarded the building project for the Museum of the American Arts and Crafts Movement (MAACM) in St. Petersburg, Florida. Hundreds of objects from the early 20th century movement – including furniture, pottery and paintings – have been offered by the museum’s patron, art collector Rudy Ciccarello, in collaboration with the Two Red Roses Foundation. 

Galleries and exhibit spaces, says lead architect Alberto Alfonso, are inspired by the “detailing and customization of materials and joinery” characteristic of the era. The four-story, 90,000 square-foot museum “is a tremendous gift by Mr. Ciccarello for the city of St. Petersburg and our state,” adds Alfonso. 

Frank Lloyd Wright Building from 1939 Finally Built

Courtesy of tbo.com

54 years after the death of Frank Lloyd Wright, Florida Southern College, home to the largest collection of Frank Lloyd Wright buildings in the world, opened another structure designed by the famed architect last Friday. Originally called the Usonian house, it was envisioned as a professor’s home in 1939 but wasn’t built until this year using blueprints left by Wright.  

Design Miami Pavilion / formlessfinder

© formlessfinder

Each December, Design Miami/ commissions early-career architects to build a designed environment for the fair’s entrance as part of its biannual Design Commissions program. This year’s winning proposal, dubbed “Tent Pile,” was designed by the New York-based architectural practice formlessfinder. Its design harnesses the properties of sand and aluminum to create shade, seating, cool air and a space to play for Miami‘s public.

Zaha Hadid’s One Thousand Museum Tower for Miami Revealed

© ZHA

New renderings of Zaha Hadid Architect‘s 215 meter-high One Thousand Museum Tower in downtown have been released. As the first Zaha Hadid-designed skyscraper to grace the skyline of the Western Hemisphere, the 60-story luxury condominium will mask its program with a prominent concrete exoskeleton. As Hadid described to the Wall Street Journal, the tower is designed with an interest in “how the structure is manifested” so that it may avoid the “generic modernist typology” that is commonly found in Miami.

One Thousand Museum Tower is one of several by high-profile architects that are beginning to take root in Miami, changing the tide of investment from real estate that is solely driven by waterfront locations to architecture that is high-end and luxurious.

Read on for more images and information…

Herzog & de Meuron’s Latest Tower: Jade Signature

© Jade Signature

Fortune International has released images of a 57-story, -designed residential tower in Miami. With interiors by Parisian firm PYR and landscape by Raymond Jungles, the Jade Signature promises to bring high design to Sunny Isles, . Described as “contemporary houses in the sky,” units will feature ample outdoor terrace space and large windows to frame views of the horizon. Six Sky Villas feature double height living areas and the two Signature penthouses each boast 360-degree views and a large terrace pool.

More images of Jade Signature and a video after the break…

Who Should Win the OMA vs. BIG Miami Showdown?

© BIG

The Miami Beach Convention Center, a giant box of a building constructed in 1957, is in desperate need of a makeover and two design teams have bravely accepted the challenge. Team 1 is dubbed South Beach ACE (Arts, Culture, Entertainment District) and is a collaboration between Rem Koolhaas‘s OMA firm, Tishman, UIA, MVVA, Raymond Jungles and TVS. Team 2 goes by the name of Miami Beach Square and includes BIG, West 8, Fentress, JPA and Portman CMC. Both proposals completely re-imagine 52 acres of prime beach real estate and cost over a billion dollars in public and private funds. So, who does it better? 

Vote for your favorite after the break…

OMA Proposes Radical Redevelopment Plan for the Miami Beach Convention Center

Aerial from SW; Courtesy of OMA

ACE just unveiled their master plan for the redevelopment of the Miami Beach Convention Center site. Currently in a battle with BIG and Portman CMC for the right to overhaul the 52-acre site, national developer Tishman, international architecture firm OMA, international firm TVS, and Miami Beach developer UIA Management comprise the South Beach ACE team. The vision involves bringing to life one of Miami Beach’s most underutilized public sites with a fully-revamped convention center capable of luring major events from around the world, an iconic hotel, inviting green spaces, low-density retail uses, and cultural venues. 

More images and the team’s description after the break…

The City of Fort Lauderdale Votes in Favor of BIG’s Marina Lofts

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On Tuesday, a sea of green and blue flooded the Fort Lauderdale City Commission chamber to either support or oppose a BIG, $250 million multi-use development planned to infill an industrial gap on the waterfront of Downtown Fort Lauderdale. Although the majority of the crowd seemed to be in favor of the “impressive, innovative and even daring” project, concerns arose regarding the Marina Lofts’ density, height and traffic impact – many of which were appeased by developer Asi Cymbal’s decision to reduce the two 36-story towers to 28, which cut nearly 100 units from the project.

Other last ditch opposition efforts regarded the controversial plan to move a giant rain tree that wasn’t within the purview of the board’s review. Despite this, following an hour-long presentation by Cymbal and his staff, the Planning  & Zoning board unanimously voted 9-0 in favor of the project.

More after the break…

DawnTown 2013: Landmark Miami Design Competition Winners Announced

1st place / ©

DawnTown recently announced the winners for Landmark Miami, their 2013 ideas competition which focused on how cities are instantly identified by the individual structures within them.  With the challenge of coming up with a new symbol for the future, architects and designers were tasked with creating an iconic architectural piece that contributes to the image of . Studio Dror was announced as the first prize winner for their ‘ Lift’ proposal which pays tribute to the city’s by elevating visitors to give them a new perspective to the city. More images and information on the winning entries after the break.

Envision 2040: Green Works Orlando Design Competition

Courtesy of Green Works

The City of Orlando‘s Mayor, Buddy Dyer, has challenged the community to develop a plan that would transform Orlando, within a generation, into one of the most environmentally-friendly, economically and socially vibrant communities in the nation. In an effort to do so, the city is introducing the Envision 2040 competition, which aims to illustrate what the city will look like in the future. Participants are being called to visualize what Orlando, the most sustainable city in the southeast, will look like in 2040. If all the goals and objectives of the plan were implemented today, what would our city look like in the future? The deadline for registration is March 18 and the deadline for submissions is April 15. For more information, please visit here.