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

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.

Faena House

Faena's development begins with an 18-story luxury condo designed by Foster + Partners. At a projected cost of approximately $1 billion, the beach-side tower boasts glass walls that open extraordinarily wide, enabling unprecedented panoramic views of the ocean and neighboring bay.

Faena House. Image Courtesy of Faena

The 47-unit tower is crowned by three custom penthouses serviced by a private entrance, interior elevator, outdoor pool, cabana and kitchenette — all this for the price of $50 million. Goldman Sachs Group CEO, Lloyd Blankfein, and Apollo Global Management co-founder, Leon Black, are early buyers of an apartment, scheduled to be completed near the end of 2014. More information here.

Faena House. Image Courtesy of Faena

Faena Saxony Hotel

The directors and producers of "The Great Gatsby" and "Moulin Rouge," Baz Lurhmann and Catherine Martin, are teaming up with Faena to re-imagine and redesign the once-grandiose interior spaces and dashing uniforms of the Saxony Hotel. 

Saxony Hotel Sketch. Image Courtesy of Faena

Once considered the most expensive and lavish resort of its time, the 1948 hotel on South Beach will be subject to renewed "cultural programming." The duo plans to equip the five star, 168-suite hotel with a newly trained staff, retrofit the soundscapes of public spaces and curate the entertainment held in the theater and cinema.

Saxony Hotel Sketch. Image Courtesy of Faena

Just recently, Faena acquired two other beachfront properties. In August, he purchased the abandoned Versailles Hotel for $100 million before assigning Thomas Heatherwick as lead architect for its renovation. In December, Faena closed a $14 million deal that added the neighboring Mediterranean revival Claridge Hotel to the 'Faena District.'

Faena Art Center and Artists-in-Residency

"Culture," explains Rem Koolhaas, "is at the core of the vision and driving force of Faena Miami Beach." Koolhaas/OMA were invited to design three buildings — an arts center, retail bazaar and car park. These distinct functions are linked by "a sequence of public domains including a plaza, courtyard and marina dock."

Faena Art Center by OMA. Image Courtesy of Faena

The state-of-the-art exhibition center will feature a cutting edge program of international acclaimed contemporary artists, as well as one of a kind residency program for artists to live and work on massive on-site displays. The concept is to nurture and challenge the city's artistic scene, with a program "deeply anchored in the belief that a museum is not a place to view art, but a place to experience it."

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Cite: Jose Luis Gabriel Cruz. "OMA, Foster + Partners, Heatherwick Studio Recruited to Design 'Faena District' of Miami Beach" 29 Dec 2013. ArchDaily. Accessed . <> ISSN 0719-8884

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