Amenties: Four Amazing Green Spaces in NYC Residential Buildings

New York City is one of the most exciting places in the entire world to live. Just about anything a person could want can be found within the five boroughs, after a subway ride or sometimes even a short stroll. Of course, once in a while, residents need a respite from all the manic activity in the city and a chance to reconnect with nature. Many of the finest residential buildings in the city either incorporate or are adjacent to phenomenal and unexpected spaces. Here are four of the best residential outdoor escapes in the city.

1. Manhattan View at MiMA Tower
460 West 42nd Street between Ninth and Tenth avenues

Image courtesy manhattanview.com
Image courtesy manhattanview.com

The top 13 floors of this building feature 151 units priced between $1 million and approximately $6 million. The apartments contain fine finishes and jaw-dropping views of the city and the Hudson River. But it’s the three outdoor areas at the Manhattan View development that place it at the top of this list. The beautifully landscaped and furnished terraces provide an array of outdoor activities for residents. The south terrace has a vast lawn surrounded by chaise lounge chairs and a tremendous projector screen for movie viewings. The north terrace can be booked for private parties and has barbecue nooks and dining pods with plush chairs, while the third terrace has more spacious lounge areas.

2. 443 Greenwich Street
Between Vestry and Desbrosses streets in Tribeca

Image courtesy 443greenwich.com
Image courtesy 443greenwich.com

Containing 11 tulip trees, the 4,000-square-foot courtyard on the site of a renovated bookbinding warehouse at 443 Greenwich Street was designed by noted landscape architect Hank White — famous for his Brooklyn Botanic Gardens redux and other projects. Working around building constraints inhibiting natural light, White looked to the lower Hudson Valley woodlands for inspiration on plant life that can thrive and beautify in the setting. He settled on a layout that is “cloistered by glass and brick and lush with plantings,” and flowers, that “stands hidden in the heart of Tribeca — a secret garden, removed from the public noise of the city.

3. XOCO 325
325 West Broadway in SoHo

Image courtesy xoco325.com
Image courtesy xoco325.com

A building named “chocolate” — “xoco” is the Catalan word for the sweet treat — can do no wrong. In addition to the vertical gardens along the building’s cast aluminum and glass façade, stretching from the base of the building up to the penthouse, the renovated 19th Century Tootsie Roll factory features apartments ranging from 1,055 to 4,837 square feet, a state-of-the-art fitness center and a lovely secret garden. Residents of the new 21-unit building, which will be complete soon, will enjoy reading in the shade of the construct and strolling its patio-like promenade while taking in the fragrances of an assortment of flowers.

4. MacDougal-Sullivan Gardens
MacDougal and Sullivan streets between Houston and Bleecker streets

Town July Amenities News 4

 

The shared garden available to residents of 22 homes in Greenwich Village’s landmarked historic district on MacDougal and Sullivan streets is one of the most unique outdoor areas in all of Manhattan. Though a common green space, it is private, enclosed by the back ends of townhouses serving as homes to New York’s elite, helping to ensure discretion while generating intimacy. Initially, the communal garden was part of a slum, existing behind dilapidated row houses. In the 1920s, the residences and garden were renovated, with real estate investors primarily looking to attract artists as renters.

Architecture News: Bjarke Ingels’ Design for WTC 2 Building

 After sidestepping Foster + Partners to become Silverstein Properties’ choice to design the new WTC2 building in the Financial District, the Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) have released a plethora of impressive renderings of the project.

DBOX for BIG - WTC2 - Tribeca Morning
Image courtesy BIG.dk

Construction has already begun at the site where the building will stand: 200 Greenwich Street, bounded by Church Street to the east, Vesey Street to the north and Fulton Street to the south. The tower is expected to reach 1,270 feet, framing the 9/11 Memorial Park alongside three other buildings making up the new World Trade Center. Among the building’s 80 floors there will be 2.8 million rentable square feet of space and a 40-foot-tall lobby, stretching 38,000 square feet, that will connect to the WTC transit hub, providing direct access to 11 subway lines.

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Image courtesy BIG.dk

The WTC2 design is intended to complement the building’s urban context and blend in with the architecture of the outlying areas, like the modernist skyscrapers of the Financial District and the lofts and roof gardens of Tribeca. The design melds high-rise with low-rise, modern with historical.

Image courtesy BIG.dk
Image courtesy BIG.dk

Looking to the sky from the 9/11 Memorial at its base, WTC2 fits in easily among the adjacent tall and slender towers of the World Trade Center complex. A series of setbacks climb the building and echo the curved sides of 1 World Trade, a reference to the twin buildings that once stood in their place. Meanwhile, the view from Tribeca offers a series of green spaces as the setback terraces are planted, mirroring the green spaces of St. Paul’s Chapel below. 

Silverstein Properties valued the WTC2 design’s innovation and safety and stability measures. The building boasts cutting-edge tenant environments, along with flexible, highly efficient floor plans and state-of-the-art amenities, including basketball courts, a running track, a cafeteria and screening rooms. The building’s amenity floors will feed directly onto the terraced parks.

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Image courtesy BIG.dk

Providing an ideal environment for the sharing of ideas, there will be a diverse mix of open workplaces and informal meeting spaces. Stairwells between floors will feature cascading double-height communal space. At the foot of the building, a lush public plaza, will run adjacent to 350,000 square feet worth of shopping and restaurants. There will be multiple concourses, fostering community and collaboration throughout.

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Image courtesy BIG.dk

 

The lower half of the tower was set to operate as 21st Century Fox/News Corp’s new headquarters, housing their subsidiary companies and more than 5,000 workers. Unfortunately for Silverstein Properties, that deal fell apart earlier this year. But there’s time to bounce back, and BlackRock and JP Morgan Chase have been rumored as prospective renters, who may move in when the project is expected to be complete in 2021.

For more information and renderings, visit the architecture firm’s official website and see the architectural fact sheet on the developer’s official website

TOWN Green Architecture News: The Futuristic Open Ocean Pavilion of South Korea

In late March, the New York Times reported that an ice sheet in Western Antarctica is melting more rapidly than previously thought. Scientists speculate that sea levels can rise 6 feet if this one ice mass continues to melt at its current pace over the course of the next 85 years.  These predictions put cities set adjacent to the ocean in tremendous danger of flooding. The article listed New York, London, New Orleans, Miami and others among the major cities facing the highest flood risks. (One quote pointed out that New York has existed for 400 years, but the chance of it lasting another 400 is “remote.”) The same evening the New York Times article was published, a panel of experts gathered at the welcome center of the Miami Design Preservation League on Ocean Drive, to discuss ways Miami can save its buildings should sea levels continue to rise. One solution is to raise them three feet or more “above flood,” though cost estimates for such an undertaking involving a 2,000-square-foot home can reach six figures.

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Image courtesy DanielValle.com

In an effort to raise awareness of the constant changes in sea levels as a result of global warming, Daniel Valle Architects designed “Water Pavilion,” a construct that allows visitors to walk either on the water’s surface or below it, depending upon the current level of the water.

Town Miami Green Arch News 2
Image courtesy DanielValle.com

Water Pavilion made its debut at the 2012 South Korean design expo called Yeosu. Originally intended for construction in Seoul, the project spans 30,000 square meters, which equates to nearly 323,000 square feet. According to the architect’s website, the concept of the project explores fluidity, buoyancy and constant change. “The pavilion stands on the unstable limit of sea level, changing its configuration according to various uses during the expo.”

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Image courtesy DanielValle.com

The pavilion can actually float above the sea and host large gatherings or sit below it, facilitating up-close-and-personal marine observation exhibits or intimate events. The generated environment is deliberately unstable, meant to call attention to the changing sea levels resulting from global warming.

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Image courtesy DanielValle.com

A cross section of the construct reveals that water runs through its “veins,” helping it shift positions. Tech Insider, which likens the structure’s functionality to that of a submarine, reports that the pavilion would also contain a purifying system that would turn saltwater into freshwater.

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Image courtesy DanielValle.com

The pavilion could become a pop-up attraction at any city waterfront, as its design allows it to undock from a port and travel elsewhere across the sea.

 

Town April Architecture News: The NYC Honorees of the 2016 AIANY Design Awards

Each year the New York chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIANY) honors a number of architects for their efforts in creating excellent and innovative architecture, interior design and urban planning projects. The recognized designers will have their projects on view at the Center For Architecture, located at 536 LaGuardia Place, beginning April 15 after a posh awards luncheon at Cipriani Wall Street. More than half of the projects that were honored this year were set within the five boroughs; here are details on some of the outstanding winners:

1. The Spring Street Salt Shed
Dattner Architects and WXY Architects

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Image courtesy dattner.com

Inspired by a grain of salt, the Spring Street Salt Shed at the intersection of Washington Street and Spring Street near the Holland Tunnel just became functional earlier this year. The 6,300-square-foot construct tapers toward the bottom, allowing for greater pedestrian space at ground level. About 5,000 tons of salt can be stored there, awaiting winter snowstorms and, ultimately, distribution across the city by the Department of Sanitation.

For more information, visit the architects’ official website.

2. St. Ann’s Warehouse
Marvel Architects

Town April Architecture News 2
Image courtesy marvelarchitects.com

The third home of St. Ann’s Warehouse—an organization that produces both theatrical performances and concerts—is located inside a tobacco warehouse originally built in 1860 along Brooklyn Bridge Park at 45 Water Street in Dumbo. Renovated by Marvel Architects, the new theater within the brick building’s very old walls offers dynamic staging options to resident companies, incorporating an interesting mix of materials, such as glass bricks, black steel and plywood.

For more information, visit the architect’s official website.

3. Carmel Place
nArchitects

Town April Architecture News 3
Image courtesy narchitects.com

The city’s first all-micro-unit building at 335 E. 27th St. in Kips Bay was designed by nArchitects as part of the MyMicroNY competition. Opening its doors to residents this year, the structure will house 55 apartments, none of which are larger than 350 square feet. Carmel Place’s layout stresses quality and livability through features that highlight the use of space, light and air. Ceiling heights reach nearly 10 feet and many apartments offer Juliet balconies. Amenities will include a gym, lounge, den, community room and public roof terrace, bicycle storage, tenant storage room and separate storage lockers are dispersed throughout the building, as well as a small garden.

For more information, visit the architect’s official website

4. St. Patrick’s Cathedral
Murphy, Burnham & Buttrick Architects

Town April Architecture News 4
Image courtesy mbbarch.com

Having already won a slew of awards for this renovation that began in 2012, Murphy, Burnham & Buttrick Architects just added AIANY’s Merit Award to their list of honors. The vast scope of the project included a refreshing of the landmark’s spires, refinishing of its ceiling, and a cleanup of the massive bronze front doors. All mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems were replaced and the complex is now heated and cooled with its very own nine-well geothermal plant. The team won a second Merit Award from AINY this year for their design of P.S. 330 in Flushing, Queens.

For more information, visit the architect’s official website.

5. The Whitney Museum at Gansevoort
Renzo Piano Building Workshop in collaboration with Cooper Robertson

Town April Architecture News 5
Image courtesyrpbw.com

Clad in pale blue-grey enamel steel panels, the new, eight-story Whitney Museum building in the Meatpacking District is as gorgeous as it is asymmetrical. Abutting the magical High Line, the new Whitney is entered via a massive cantilevered plaza with views of both the Hudson and the High Line. The lobby also serves as a public gallery with nearly 1,000 square feet of free-entry exhibition space. In addition to having flexible galleries spanning 50,000 square feet and multiple levels inside, the new museum also has 13,000 square feet of outdoor space for additional exhibits. This design team also won AIANY’s Merit Award. 

For more information, visit the architect’s official website.

For a complete list of AIANY’s winners, visit their official website

Town April Real Estate Neighborhood Spotlight: Central Park South

The New York City real estate market recently experienced a boom like few in the business have seen at any point in their careers. With the uptick in the economy after the 2008 downturn, people weren’t just buying properties, they were developing them as well, with plans for constructs to shoot higher into the city’s sky than ever before. No section of Manhattan saw more impressive development through this year than the streets abutting Central Park South.

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Image courtesy jdsdevelopment.com

For the better part of the last two years, pundits persistently preached that an increase of inventory was going to be needed to help ease soaring prices. In the Central Park South section of New York, the inventory has finally arrived. With the recent rise of uncertainty and volatility in the stock market combined with the influx of units in the neighborhood, this might be the best time in the past hundred years to buy in this section of Midtown.

New York Yimby declared 2016 to be “the biggest year ever for the Manhattan skyline,” and the majority of the buildings they highlighted were all located within just a few blocks of Central Park South. The ballyhooed, supertall One57 at 157 West 57th St. started the craze when it was completed in 2014. Even more attention was brought to the neighborhood when a penthouse in that same building became America’s first-ever $100 million apartment sale. The building’s website offers plenty of reasons why the building was such a hit, including panoramic city views that prominently feature the mighty Central Park.

Town April Neighborhood Spotlight 2
Image courtesy Robert A.M. Stern Architects

One57 briefly held the title of the city’s tallest building until 432 Park Avenue reached its peak height of 1,369 feet. Completed just this past December, 432 Park Avenue also stands on 57th Street, just three-and-a-half blocks from One57. The first sale at 432 Park Avenue was of apartment #35B in January. The 4,000-square-foot unit has three bedrooms and four-and-a-half bathrooms and sold for $18.116 million, which beat the $17.75 million asking price. Ten additional apartments were available at the time ranging from $17.4 to $44.25 million.

Town April Neighborhood Spotlight 3
Image courtesy newyorkyimby.com

New Yorkers can look forward to three more luxury residential buildings to begin making their mark on the skyline near Central Park South in the very near future. Vornado Realty Trustis developing 220 Central Park South. Designed by Robert A.M. Stern, the building is expected to top out somewhere between 920 and 950 feet in height, making it one of the tallest residential buildings in the United States. A landmarked annex to the Plaza Hotel off Fifth Avenue, sales have launched, and the building may be complete within the next 12 months. 2016 will be the second year of construction at 217 West 57th Street, aka the Nordstrom Tower or the Central Park Tower. The building will rise 1,550 feet, and, upon completion, it will become the second-tallest building in the city andin the country. Officially, it will be designated a mixed-use building, as Manhattan’s first flagship Nordstrom will be housed in the building’s seven-story base. JDS Development Group’s 111 West 57th Street is expected to open next year with a design that has already received positive reviews, and Jean Nouvel’s long-awaited 53W53 is expected to see residents move in some time in 2018.

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Image courtesy 53w53.com

The lower portion of Central Park may be the most beloved by New Yorkers with The Pond, Central Park Zoo, Victorian Gardens Amusement Park and carousel situated there. The famous midtown Apple Store with its iconic glass cube entrance and venerable Plaza Hotel anchor the southeast corner of the park, while Columbus Circle and the twin towers of the Time Warner Center stand at the southwest corner. High-profile restaurants, such as Marea, The Russian Tea Room, Per Se and Aquavit pepper the neighborhood. The Museum of Modern Art is just blocks away, and Carnegie Hall is centrally located, leading to the nearby theater district. The “Three Bs,” Barneys, Bergdorf’s and Bloomingdales and the shops at Time Warner Center set the stage for world-famous shopping near Central Park and further up the Madison Avenue and 57th Street corridors. Local transportation is effortless with nearly every subway line making stops in the immediate area.

Modern, sky-piercing luxury combined with all the classic institutions that made the area famous, not to mention amazing neighborhood amenities, make Central Park South truly remarkable—and still on the rise.

Town, Miami Green Architecture News: Miami’s Most Green Bungalow

Town Miami Green Arch News 1
Image courtesy ChristianWassmann.com

A Miami bungalow built in the 1930s has gotten the modern, green treatment from architect Christian Wassmann and his studio in a unique, environmentally conscientious extension.

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Image courtesy ChristianWassmann.com

Called “The Sun Path House,” the dynamic three-story structure is made of concrete and features spiraling walls, a solarium, abundant natural light, greenery and open spaces. The intention behind the design was to create a serene living environment with subtly playful qualities as well.

Town Miami Green Arch News 3
Image courtesy ChristianWassmann.com

Though considered the new main living area on the property, the design studio’s website says the extension is “in dialogue” with the bungalow. There’s an expansive, open kitchen operating as a spatial connection to the original structure. Located at the top of the building, the solarium’s curved wall maps the path of the sun on the summer solstice, reflecting sunlight onto the surface of the adjacent deck all day.

Town Miami Green Arch News 4
Image courtesy ChristianWassmann.com

A spiraling wall, with structural, functional and aesthetic purposes, acts as the spine of the building, spanning all three floors, optimizing exposure to natural light and facilitating the growth of all the greenery. So as to face north, the top edge of the curved wall is rotated—in respect to the existing building—11.25 degrees. The middle of the wall, where the master bedroom is located, is parallel to the established house. On the ground floor the curvature is 11.25 degrees towards the middle of the garden, and the rotation point of this 22.5-degree twist is the central staircase leading to the top sundeck.

Town Miami Green Arch News 5
Image courtesy ChristianWassmann.com

The curved concrete wall also does a great job of deflecting wind, maintaining calm inside the structure. The sizable windows and outdoor spaces throughout offer the residents a sincere connection with nature. 

For more information and renderings, visit Inhabitat.com and ChristianWassmann.com

 

Architecture News: Pritzker Prize Winner and The Nominees for 2016

Honoring a living architect or architects whose built work demonstrates outstanding talent, vision and commitment while producing consistent and significant contributions to humanity through their craft, the Pritzker Prize has emerged as perhaps the top international award for architects since it was founded in 1979. Alejandro Aravena of Chile receives the honor this year, beating out a number of revered rivals, some with strong New York ties and projects on the horizon.

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Image courtesy pritzkerprize.com

Aravena has served as executive director of Santiago-based firm ELEMENTAL S.A. since 2001, putting up a number of buildings in Chile, but also branching out to Italy, Iran and the United States with minimalist structures serving as dorms at St. Edward’s University in Texas. Recognizing Aravena and his firm’s contributions to the world, including more than 2,500 units of low-cost housing that help raise impoverished people to a middle-class standard of living, the jury also observed Aravena’s propensity for innovation.

Town February Architecture News 2
Image courtesy elementalchile.cl

Curbed recently provided a rundown of this year’s Pritzker Prize front-runners, which included Steven Holl; Peter Eisenman; Santiago Calatrava; Diller, Scofidio + Renfro; Mecanoo; and more.

Among his many local projects, Holl provided a master plan for a portion of the Hudson Yards redux.

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Image courtesy stevenholl.com

A member of the famous “New York Five” whose photographed work was the subject of popular exhibits and books in the 1970s, Eisenman graduated from Cornell and Columbia and has recently worked on large-scale projects such as the University of Phoenix Stadium in Arizona.

Calatrava has left his thumbprint on New York City as well, designing the recently opened World Trade Center Transportation Hub and the nearby St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church.

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Image courtesy calatrava.com

The firm Diller, Scofidio + Renfro have designed the Columbia University Medical Center, the new MoMA, and sections of the Hudson Yards, including the enormous D Tower.

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Image courtesy dsrny.com

Meanwhile, Mecanoo, a Dutch firm, has been tapped to lead the renovation of Midtown’s New York Public Library, which will be ongoing through 2022.

If the Pritzker Prize wasn’t enough, the socially conscious architect Aravena will also be the direct of this year’s Venice Architecture Biennale. He plans to focus on current global challenges that drastically impact architectural design, including migration and climate change.

For more on the Pritzker Prize, visit Curbed.com, Inhabitat.com and PritzkerPrize.com

Green Architecture News: The Tallest Wooden Building in the U.S.

Green Architecture News: The Tallest Wooden Building in the U.S.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture recently announced the winners of the U.S. Tall Wood Building Prize Competition at a New York City press conference. One of the teams honored was LEVER Architecture for their design of what will be the tallest wooden building in the country—a structure they call “Framework.”

Image courtesy leverarchitecture.com
Image courtesy leverarchitecture.com

Designed for mixed-use purposes and set in the Pearl District of Portland, Oregon, the construct will rise 12 stories and was already in its development stages prior to LEVER’s recognition from the USDA. The renderings of Framework are reminiscent of any contemporary building one might find in the most highly developed urban areas, but the building will be constructed primarily of cross-laminated timber, some of which will be exposed in the ceilings, while wood columns and beams of glue-laminated timber will sure to draw attention at floor levels throughout.

Image courtesy leverarchitecture.com
Image courtesy leverarchitecture.com

Incorporating residential, office, and commercial spaces, as well as a community area that will feature an exhibit on tall-wood construction, the 130-foot Framework building will be set atop a reinforced concrete foundation laid in a formerly industrial segment of the city that is serviced by a public streetcar. LEVER’s design also takes social interaction into account as well as resource consumption. Both will be optimized thanks to smart organization of building circulation and services.

Image courtesy leverarchitecture.com
Image courtesy leverarchitecture.com

Based in Portland, LEVER Architecture’s mission is to strengthen communities in part by blurring the boundaries between public and private spaces. Much of their work can be found in Portland, but some of their most famous work has been completed in Los Angeles. The team was responsible for the recent renovations of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences building and the Samuel Goldwyn Theater, home to the Academy Awards’ nominations announcements.

For more information and renderings, visit Inhabitat.com and LeverArchitecture.com

 

Green Architecture News: The Amazing “Tetris House”

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Image courtesy tetrishouse.nl

The architects of a new pre-fab home design have looked to a classic video game for inspiration. A Dutch design studio, Universe Architecture, and its lead architect, Janjaap Ruijssenaars, recently revealed a modular house prototype that can change its configuration with additional housing units and elements—balconies, shutters, and more options—that can be stacked like blocks, reminiscent of the 1980s puzzle game Tetris.

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Image courtesy tetrishouse.nl

The Tetris House project allows maximum flexibility for developers in constructing housing units. Building elements can rotate, or rest in their optimal position within specific layouts and setups after placement experimentation. A steel modular structure and Meccano-like facade allows residents to add more room to their living spaces as well.

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Image courtesy tetrishouse.nl

The concept can be licensed to developers eager to give their future residents the power of choice. Translated from Dutch, the very versatile building’s website says, “The Tetris House hull will be completed, but you can decide the layout of your home.”

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Image courtesy tetrishouse.nl

Universe Architecture hopes the first live-in Tetris House will be erected in the Netherlands with Dutch firm i29 tapped as its interior designers. They have already submitted interior plans with a nod to both special efficiency and luxury. Of course the architecture firm is also hoping to expand production to more countries, so there is a chance a Tetris House or two could pop up stateside soon.

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Image courtesy tetrishouse.nl

Each standard house measures 1,883 square feet, offers unrelenting natural light inside and 360-degree views of whatever surrounding landscape it is set upon. Due to its simplicity, Universe Architecture also claims the cost of the units will be very affordable, while they can also be outfitted with self-sufficient energy systems.

For more information and renderings, visit the building’s official website

Miami Neighborhood News: The Shore Club Reno Revealed!

Town January Miami Neighborhood News 1
Image courtesy Visualhouse

With an expected completion date set around two years from now, the historic Shore Club of Miami is about to undergo a massive renovation. Located in the city’s Art Deco District, the expansive updated complex will house 100 hotel rooms and 75 apartments—plus poolside bungalows—many of them offering wide open views of the beach and Atlantic Ocean.

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Image courtesy Visualhouse

Brazilian architect Isay Weinfeld has been commissioned to transform the hotel, which will be renamed the Fasano Hotel + Residences at Shore Club. Fasano, a Brazil-based hospitality company, will operate the hotel, their first project in the US. The renovation is also Weinfeld’s first large-scale project on the shores of Miami.

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Image courtesy Visualhouse

The minimalist-designed hotel—which is expected to become the second five-star hotel in South Beach—will also include the region’s largest swimming pool, measuring 250 feet in length.

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Image courtesy Visualhouse

Interior spaces will be reimagined and new furnishings will be added throughout the property’s three existing towers. Renderings show glass-lined balconies, primarily white materials and lush landscaping. The Weinfeld project also calls for the construction of a series of two-story homes, as well as a new amenities building with a gym, yoga rooms and spa.

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Image courtesy Visualhouse

Spanning three acres of oceanfront, the Shore Club property currently functions as a 309-room hotel and is a featured venue during the famed  Design Miami convention. Architect Albert Anis— a Miami Native—designed the original Art Deco building, which was built in 1939 and later refurbished by David Chipperfield in 2001. The grounds are located steps from prime throughways Lincoln Road, Ocean Drive ad Espanola Way.