Arquitectonica Now Designing Miami Beach Convention Center, Replacing Koolhaas

Arquitectonica has replaced Rem Koolhaas as the architect designing the exterior of Miami Beach’s renovated and expanded convention center.

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.

Earlier this year, commissioners voted to move forward on a city-managed renovation plan and hired Fentress Architects as its Design Criteria Professional. Fentress has selected a team that includes exterior facade architect Arquitectonica along with landscape design firm West 8. The Fentress/Arquitectonica plans are about 50% complete and are due in December, according to Jeff Sachs, a consultant overseeing the project for the city.

Levine and other commissioners voted to scrap earlier plans designed by Koolhaas that would have turned the convention center over to a private developer adding significant amounts of retail and hotel space.  The owners of the Fontainebleau donated significant sums to politicians in an effort to kill off the previous plan.

The new plan calls for the existing center to be renovated to ‘Class A’ standards, along with the addition of a new ballroom and meeting space. A surface parking lot with 880 spaces will be converted into a 6.5 acre public park, with the parking spaces to be moved onto the roof of the building. Convention Center Drive and the Collins Canal seawall will also be rebuilt.

 

Scrapped Koolhaas plans:

 

Previous Arquitectonica master plan:

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Steve
6 years ago

Before you criticize the jettisoning of the Koolhass proposal, have you stopped and pondered the cost of that project, and how there would be virtually no way to ever amortize that cost?

XVS
6 years ago

You may have a point. Maybe MB should not have any convention center.

Jason
6 years ago

Maybe I’m a little crazy, and I’ll admit I’m not well read on the original project, but how is there “virtually no way” to amortize the cost of a building that would house a hotel, retail, and conventions that would inevitably continue to draw millions to the city, along with their money, for that specific point of interest?

Find better talent elsewhere
6 years ago

a parking lot with a view to the park. great ! and two blank walls towards the streets. Hope this NEVER gets built.

Rem
6 years ago

I love the corruption in Miami

Oscar
6 years ago

Wow. This is ridiculous.

dbaz
6 years ago

Wow… another bland Arquitectonica design

Peter
6 years ago

Blah

Oscar
6 years ago

Talk about a wasted opportunity, huh?

leon
6 years ago

Horrible..

marc
6 years ago

This is what you get when you cheap out on something instead of having any vision.

Anonymous
6 years ago

Don’t be surprised if this whole process morphs again, at least once, before all is said and done.
There is a lot of controversy bubbling up now and the population in these parts is more sophisticated
than in some places. People here appreciate architectural excellence, public transit needs and overall esthetics more so than was true in the past. So going cheap-o and settling for a mediocre design on such an important and iconic structure as the Miami Beach Convention Center will not sit well in this community. Stay tuned for more.

Nick
6 years ago

I sure hope so

kat
6 years ago

that is thanks to Miami beach mayor and commissioner wolfson. what a waste of money,keep that ugly building and just renovated is so riduculous, other convention center are getting bigger and with hotel.
hopefully Marriott build the Downtown Convention center so this people lose business. Shame on you arquitectonica

XVS
6 years ago

Miami Beach officials obviously don’t know what they are doing. This is a head scratcher.

Anonymous
6 years ago

Why is this not being done as a competition instead of simply awarding Arquitectonica with its “whatever you get” design?

Find better talent elsewhere
6 years ago

If they are not going to something good, don’t do anything!!! what a waste!!! replace a beautiful congruent and well integrated design within a neighborhood for what seems two white boxes and a parking structure with hanging gardens. WTF !!! who is behind these decisions, because they should be fired immediately. …maybe draw two big red circles and have target sponsor it.

Gayle
6 years ago

Miami Beach residents overwhelming preferred Koolhaus design.

PS Rent on Lincoln Rd too high, cafes are closing down because they cannot afford $300/SF. Must solve that because Lincoln Rd is boring without the outdoor cafes.

Kristian Toimil
6 years ago

Did they? Last I checked, they voted to make it harder to renovate the Convention Center and elected a man who ran on down-scaling the whole project.

A A Rey
6 years ago

Another Arquitectonica vomit! Shame on you MB!

que asco
6 years ago

This design is less than impressive it’s insulting. Looks cheap and I don’t mean co$t I mean bad design. We are (the City of Miami Beach) supposed to play on a world level, not recall design back to the boards that was suited better suited for Davie.