OMA wins coconut grove waterfront development in miami
image © designboom 

 

 

 

as a result of a competition that was hosted by terra group, the related group, and curated by terence riley, miami will see yet another major architectural addition to its already rapidly expanding cityscape with the development of the coconut grove waterfront. it was announced on the occasion of design miami/ 2013, that out of four selected high-profile teams, OMA came out on top of diller scofidio + renfro, christian de portzamparc, jean nouvel to realize the mid-rise residential living programme for the area that is situated at the juncture of 27th street and south bayshore drive. coconut grove is known for its lush greenery, and the submitted ideas have taken into consideration the entire neighbourhood, offering solutions on how to connect the residential, commercial and natural aspects. 

OMA wins coconut grove waterfront development in miami
OMA / shohei shigematsu’s project for miami coconut grove
image © designboom

 

 

 

OMA’s  winning design, with shohei shigematsu, examines coconut grove from an urban planning perspective. acknowledging that the current growing number of condominium towers in the district would eventually create a wall between the neighbourhoods, the firm’s scheme consists of airy, slender towers with porous façades, offering a transparency that allow for maximum visibility and movement.

OMA wins coconut grove waterfront development in miami
image courtesy terra group / OMA

 

 

 

OMA began its research by questioning a typical real estate development formula: the densest (15,000 square feet per floor), tallest (20 stories), longest (180 feet) slabs allowable by code. as indicated in its research, this formula would typically generate two slabs of maximum size, placed at right angles to take advantage of the views. however, the architects realized that this strategy would only contribute to the growing phalanx of condominium towers along south bayshore drive, which is in effect creating a wall between the areas of coconut grove and biscayne bay.

park-grove-fix
image courtesy terra group / OMA

 

 

 

OMA’s initial strategy was to consider the project from a broader, urban planning perspective. taking the same sellable square footage, OMA divided it among six slender towers. from the water’s edge, these six towers present a more delicate and more porous appearance than would two towers. the six towers have no interior columns, allowing for maximum planning flexibility. rather, the columns are placed in the skins of the buildings, oriented to allow maximum views where appropriate and providing privacy where appropriate.

OMA wins coconut grove waterfront development in miami
image courtesy terra group / OMA

 

 

 

taking advantage of the sloping site which drops approximately 10 feet from the west to the east, OMA’s concept involves the creation of multiple levels to separate functions — the entrances to the individual towers, pedestrians from automotive circulation, and private amenities from public retail, cultural spaces and the relocated bank facilities. the design avoids the all-too-typical ‘podium’ that usually dominates and alienates the surrounding neighborhood. this thoughtful separation of functions appears like flower petals that project and overlap, allowing a pedestrian connection between the town and the bay, between older and residential neighbourhoods and the recreation areas along the water, and between the tree-lined streets of the old city grid and the free forms of nature. 

 

for designboom’s coverage of the three other proposals submitted for ‘coconut grove’ see here.

OMA wins coconut grove waterfront development in miami
image courtesy terra group / OMA

 

OMA wins coconut grove waterfront development in miami
open plaza
image courtesy terra group / OMA