Japan-based architectural office Kengo Kuma and Associates has unveiled the design for what will become the studio’s first residential tower in the United States. Located on the oceanfront of Miami Beach, the 18-story structure will accommodate private condominiums for hospitality brand Aman. The project is adjacent to the Versailles building, a 1940s Art Deco hotel currently under restoration by architect Jean-Michel Gathy. The Art Deco architecture of Miami’s Faena district has a unique rhythm, which, according to the architect, was translated into the geometry of the new building through its vertical and horizontal lines.
The design of Aman Miami emphasizes the rhythm of its architectural landscape. The geometry takes inspiration from the lightness and freedom of jazz. This resonates with both the oceanic horizon marked by the vertical lines of the trees and the tone of the Art Deco architecture specific to the Faena District of Miami.
Three-story-tall columns support the structure to maximize ocean views from the street level. According to the design team, the lobby’s ceiling was raised not just for the aesthetics, but also in order to appease the surrounding tenants. In the atrium, the walls and columns are covered in a wood lattice that frays where the top meets the first-floor plate, creating an organic tree branch-like effect, an element specific to Kuma’s design language. The wooden lattices continue up the sides of the facades, creating sun louvers and texture to the glazed facade of the tower.
Kengo Kuma, born on 8th August 1956, is one of the most significant Japanese figures in contemporary architecture. His reinterpretation of traditional Japanese architectural elements for the 21st century has involved innovation in using natural materials, new ways of thinking about light and lightness, and architecture that enhances rather than dominates. Recently, the eponymous firm, which opened in 1990, won an international competition to develop an architectural concept for the Galiasgar Kamal Tatarian State Academic Theatre. They have also completed the H.C.Andersen Hus Museum in Denmark.
- Principle: Kengo Kuma
- Partner: Marcin Sapeta
- Designers: Kevin Clement, John XianFeng Jiang, Veronika Ikonnikova, Sebastiano Caruso, Zak Reichert
- Visualization, CG: Fumitake Suzuki