Following the controversial decision to scrap plans by OMA earlier this year, Miami Beach officials have selected Arquitectonica for the redesign of the Miami Beach Convention Center. In a significant scaling-down of OMA's $1 billion masterplan, the new scheme calls for the existing center to be kept and renovated to 'Class A' standards, along with the addition of a new ballroom, meeting space and rooftop parking. The center's existing parking lot will be converted into a 6.5 acre public park, designed by landscape firm West 8.
More on the Convention Center Controversy after the break
The competition last year to select a designer for a new convention center resulted in a high profile battle between OMA and BIG, ultimately ending with the selection of OMA and South Beach ACE, the development conglomerate backing their proposal. However, in January newly-elected mayor Philip Levine, along with the rest of the city commissioners, voted unanimously to scrap the project, taking responsibility for the development back into the city's control. The result is the scaled-back brief which Levine said will enable the project to be "done fast, on time, on budget."
The announcement has not gone down well with some, with local real estate news outlet exMiami saying: "Koolhaas, regarded by many as one of the greatest living architects, was given the boot following the election of Philip Levine as mayor. Instead, mediocre local firm Arquitectonica, with a long history of churning out subpar buildings with especially poor street level design, is now overseeing exterior architecture."
Though Arquitectonica has produced a design for the Convention Center site before, the new brief effectively rules out their previous proposal. Their new designs are expected to be released in December.