Bermello Ajamil: Designing the World from Miami

Founded in Miami in 1939, Bermello Ajamil & Partners is making history in Dubai. I had known that it was a great firm, locally, but never imagined they’d get themselves into this (via – Maria De Los Angeles). Yes, that is Dubai’s The World. An 18 billion dollar dream-like endeavor to incorporate the globe into one huge, man-made, 300-island archipelago. Without getting into the details, it’s big, unprecedented, historic, and a Bermello Ajamil project.

Satellite image: The World at Night

That’s not all. Also in Dubai, BAP is the master architect for Maritime City, which will house over 125,000 people when complete. Miami-based Arquitectonica is doing it big in China, but it seems that BAP is friendlier with Dubai’s sheiks (Chad Oppenheim is in the Dubai scene too).

Image: Rendering of Maritime City, Dubai UAE

In Miami, here are some of their projects:

  • The Four Seasons (Brickell Village)
  • Onyx on the Bay (Edgewater)
  • 1800 Club (Edgewater)
  • Vue (Brickell Village)
  • Skyline (Brickell Village)
  • One Broadway (Brickell Village)
  • Parc Lofts (M&E)
  • Filling Station Lofts (M&E)
  • The Colonnade (Dadeland)

Image: The Four Seasons towering over all others (Via- Blogging Miami)

The 68 year old firm is at the forefront of Maritime architecture with port-projects throughout the world. It also played a key role in the design of Las Vegas’ MGM Grand. Bermello Ajamil’s style is dynamic and unpredictable. Low to the ground, Parc Lofts and Filling Station Lofts can easily be considered among Miami’s most strikingly designed loft developments. Soaring higher than all other buildings in Miami, the Four Seasons remains the benchmark of Miami’s emerging skyline.

BAP-designed projects are located throughout the Core, but are conspicuously absent from Sieger Suarez-dominated Miami Beach. It may not be the most recognizable of Miami’s elite architecture firms, but it can be measured against the best of them, and unlike most of the others, BAP is chasing the century mark.

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11 Comments

Filed under Architects, BoB Articles

11 responses to “Bermello Ajamil: Designing the World from Miami

  1. Xavier, you know Iove your blog and all the great information you provide for your readers, but I have to give you my opinion on Bermello and partners. There are those architecture firms that really care about design, context and the mark they will leave behind. There are others that care about politics, getting the job and making money. I think BAP fits into the second category.

    The quality of their projects leaves a lot to be desired let’s just look at Washington and 5th. Total disrespect for context, for scale and for changing the existing urban core.

    I’m glad they are going International, but I would not expect anything great to come out of that.

  2. Unlike some of the other local firms, BAP does not have a distinctive style. In other words, while I may, without knowing, recognize an Oppenheim, the same cannot be said about a BAP-designed building. Still, in consideration of other projects in the Core, I have to disagree about their legacy and design deficiencies. Regarding 5th and Washington, all firms have blotches on their portfolio. I certainly don’t know what motivates the firm in terms of politics and compensation, but feel that their foray into the world stage reflects very positively on Miami, which has for 68 years served as the firm’s breeding ground. Thanks for your viewpoint Ines.

  3. Xavier – your posts always give such great food for thought and I could sit here and have discussions with you for days. I love how you called their South Beach project a “blotch” – I would see it as a HUGE mistake by them and the city for allowing the attrocious scale and out of context proportions…..but let’s not go into that.

    I had the pleasure to work with them in a project in a Ft. Lauderdale airport terminal, and I can’t begin to tell you what an uncomfortable war of egos that thing turned into.

    I appreciate your response though and do agree that they have left their mark, whether or not I agree with the methods.

  4. I see you have the inside scoop Ines. That kind of a situation at work can definitely be a turn off. Thanks for the insight and as always your opinion is highly valued.

  5. I remember all too well riding with a couple of city employees waxing rhapsodic over Fifth & Washington trying to not… hurl. Luckliy the Beach didn’t turn out to be the way it might have. What my mind went back to was the description by survivors of the same corner during the hurricane of September ’26.

    Hopefully the string pullers will take your comments under consideration when making future decisions. And yet, every year about this time, I re-read “Condominium.” It could have been published this Spring… the names of the guilty parties may change from year to year or from project to project, but few of them get the kind of come-uppance that John D. Maconald prophesied.

  6. mike

    [Comment removed by administrator due to defamation]

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