Architect Profile: Arquitectonica

Arquitectonica is arguably Miami’s most important and influential architectural firm. The firm, which started out in a small Miami studio with two architects (Bernardo Fort-Brescia and Laurinda Spear) in 1977, has evolved into a major international firm with 11 offices around the globe.

The firm’s success is something Miami should be proud of. Consider that the city served as the creative laboratory through which this great awarding-winning firm has evolved. The firm is a veteran in the high density condo design market in Miami.

They designed Brickell icons such as the Imperial, the Atlantis, and the Palace. Although these buildings are no longer talked about, for many years they were the most outstanding structures Brickell had to offer and emblematic of Miami.

Arquitectonica’s latest Miami project designs are powerful and ambitious. Many of them have several buildings (Icon Brickell,  Latitude, Axis and Bentley to name a few). the Related Group has just commissioned them to design Icon Bay. They did work on Icon Puerto Vallarta.

Hyperion Development has taken a liking to their work (Marina Blue and Blue on the Bay) having their projects exclusively designed by them.

In analyzing their architectural corpus you will find allusions to some of their past designs; animated and lively expressions. However, for the most part, in considering new projects such as the Hyperion developments, Icon Brickell and South Beach, Marquis, Infinity, and Axis, one must conclude that their vision of Miami is looking forward.

A glimpse of what will be a city packed with glassy, sleek, soaring skyscrapers crammed amid palm trees and traffic. One finds comfort in knowing that much of the Miami skyline is changing with strokes of Arquitectonica’s genius.

Developers in Hong Kong have begun to contract their work; another clear parallel between the two sub-tropical boomtowns. Arquitectonica is not inexpensive to employ. It is no coincidence that the wealthiest and most powerful developers often choose them. Development moguls know what works well and pay the high price, accordingly. As far as they are concerned, contracting Architectonica to do their design work preserves their legacy, protects their investment, and almost ensures visual success.

For Miamians, who bear witness to their city’s preposterous growth, Architectonica is an indelible part of their history.


Filed under Architects

11 responses to “Architect Profile: Arquitectonica

  1. Michael Stephen McFarland

    If the Omni Development is moving forward, I would like to see the towers listed on the Miami page of as either proposed or approved, whatever the status. This is free adverstising for you, if the project is still alive. I sure hope it is still alive and moving forward because the skyline is getting too Brickell-heavy and needs the Omni Development to balance it out along wth Onyx2 and Element. Perhaps the mixed-use route is the way to go. Seems to be the wave of the future. Steve

    Tel +49(0)6151 87040 58
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    [Emporis is one of the world’s leading providers of building-related information]

  2. Argent Ventures is moving forward with their plans for the demolition of the Omni. They are being represented by Lucia Dougherty of Greenberg Traurig. Lucia typically gets what her client wants. I agree that much of the new development is taking place in Brickell and it would be nice to see Emporis reflect the changes in Uptown, particularly with the Omni, but Argent has not (at least I’m not aware it) publicized the details of their proposed buildings plan. The mixed use project has become the standard for new developments in Miami. My feeling is that as the residential condo glut continues to grow, developers are going to add more commercial elements to their mixed-use developments, as is the case with the MAX Tower in Uptown. The Omni redevelopment matter needs to be looked into further and certainly any new findings on my part will be reported to Emporis. For some additional information regarding density distribution type “distribution charts” in the search field of this site for an article I wrote on the matter. Cheers!

  3. Pingback: Miami’s Leader in Urban Planning « Boom or Bust: Miami

  4. Pingback: Arquitectonica in the Far East: Big Things Poppin’ « Boom or Bust: Miami

  5. There’s a great video clip from WPBT’s Art 360 on uVu that talks about the firm and the many buildings they have created in Miami over the years. Go to Search keyword “arquitectonica”

  6. I must say, as very much as I enjoyed ridneag what you had to say, I couldnt help but lose interest after a while. Its as if you had a excellent grasp to the topic matter, but you forgot to include your readers. Perhaps you should think about this from much more than one angle. Or maybe you shouldnt generalise so much. Its better if you think about what others may have to say instead of just going for a gut reaction to the topic. Think about adjusting your personal thought process and giving others who may read this the benefit of the doubt.

  7. Looks like a great trip so far! I’m glad to see you have some clothes with you that fit I don’t have any idea what it’s like to rerutn to my hometown ~ I’m born and raised, and likely staying forever. I do find comfort in that though ~ it’s a great community and I love it here.

  8. Fist of all, you look amazing. Secondly, I also love the art deco arutehictcre of South Beach. I’m from south Florida, too (Hollywood) and I almost never go back but when I do I definitely try to squeeze in that part of town. Hope you’re having a great trip.

    • What a great feeling when hard work pays off! Way to go!! I know extacly what you mean about not being able to fit it all in. It’s so hard to find that balance. You are motivating me to fit in more cross training, which I desperately need! Congrats again on your race!!

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