Night Light

More of the skyline should be illuminated at night. Seeing an illuminated crown or building façade doesn’t just make the building look better but the entire skyline as well. For the perfect example, one only needs to look at the Bank of America Tower. This curvilinear multi tiered 600-plus foot tall wonder rules over Miami’s night sky. The building’s colors change with the season, holidays, and sometimes special events. Its beams of light reflect the city’s nightly buzz and energy. Everyone notices. It is the most photographed building at night, and much to my delight, other more subtle imitators have lit up the night sky. Take Vue, in Brickell Village, for example, with its illuminated blue crown and lower pedestal. Vue is not exactly awe inspiring. It doesn’t have the most eye-popping design and it isn’t situated on the most conspicuous lot, but darn it the crown is lit. So, I notice it. It provides a positive addition to the Brickell Village evening skyline. For a while, Skyline at Brickell had its crown illuminated in a light blue. It looked great, but lately I haven’t seen it lit—maybe the condominium association doesn’t like the electricity bill. Brickell has its fair share of lit up towers. The Espirito Santo’s front façade is illuminated and looks great at night. Atlantis just recently began to illuminate the pyramid top of their building. This whole pattern is not new but has grown as of late. The most important contribution to this trend was the illumination of the Port of Miami Bridge in blue lights and the Macarthur Causeway in purple lights. Now, with the advent of the illuminated Carnival Center for the Performing Arts (which I suspect will, like the BOA tower, probably display multiple colors although currently white is it), the whole city will take on a new nightly radiance. Across the bay in South Beach it is much more common to see illuminated structures. Most of the Art Deco structures have some type of colorful lighting scheme. The Lincoln movie theatre complex and the 500 Block of Collins are both kaleidoscope-like at night (thanks to Zyschovich). The Flamingo Tower’s crown is illuminated in blue, the Waverly has vertical yellow and blue lights, and the Bentley Bay has blue lights vertically dotting its curvy sides. The Delano, Fontainebleau II, Shore Club, and National hotels all have illuminated crowns. What seems to be clear is that Miami is a city of colorful lights now, but given the expanding pattern of structural illumination and the rampant new development, the future will likely hold an astounding array of illuminated towers and structures that will reflect the city’s vibrancy, paint restless reflections on the bay, and create a luminous urbanism that will further set Miami apart.


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