Daily Archives: November 8, 2007

Wake Up, Fisher Island! A Documentary

Via – SEIU Thanks for submitting Tanya!

For more information go to Onemiaminow.org 

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Tracking Densification and Building Height Distribution (Intro)

Image: Aerial view of Miami’s urban center with a white line representing the distance between both ends of the urban core.

Urban Core, Defined

When the term “urban core” is used here, it refers to three areas or segments in the center of Miami:

  • Uptown (north of the I-395 & south of the I-195)
  • Central Business District area (north of the Miami River & south of the I-395)
  • Brickell Village (south of the Miami River).

Some would argue that the core’s boundaries exceed what I’ve mentioned. Others that it is less. For now, I feel comfortable with the three segment approach.

The Limits of the Urban Core

Miami’s core represents the highest concentration of building density in the City much in the way the area of from Downtown to Midtown Manhattan represents the highest concentration of density in NYC. Manhattan, like Miami, doesn’t constitute a seamless stream of tall towers. There are several neighborhoods between Downtown and Midtown Manhattan that are predominately residential and mid-rise; Greenwich Village, Chelsea, Gramercy Park, etc. Miami, although very much lacking in density compared to New York city, also has these disconnected pockets of high density except the neighborhoods in-between the pockets of high density are largely unestablished or undeveloped.

Image: Aerial view of NYC’s urban center with a white line representing the distance between both ends of the highest concentration of building density.

Interestingly, the area in Manhattan which represents the highest concentration of density and high rise development stretches for approximately 4.8 miles from the south tip of Manhattan to South Central Park–the width of the area is about two (2) miles on average. Miami’s core, from its southernmost point in Brickell Avenue to the I-195 (just south of the Design District) is about 4.35 miles long and about 1 mile wide (from east to west). This area constitutes Miami’s the breathing room available for Miami’s densification. Sure, the overall area is smaller than Manhattan’s most dense area but is quite larger than the average core in the U.S. Chicago is a major exception, the density there stretches for almost 7 miles from north to south but is, on average, and as approximately as wide as Miami at 1 mile.

Tracking Density

With these basic parameters set, I will re-evaluate building density and height distribution throughout the core with a focus on new density versus old, as well as development use and scale, in order to see how the Urban Core is evolving.

To Be Continued…

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Borges + Associates

Borges and Associates brings to mind sharply designed loft developments. Although specializing in many aspects of their field, including urban planning, interior design, and architecture, Borges and Associates’ bread and butter is the loft project. Here is a short list of some of their loft and mid-rise designs:

  • The Lofts at Mayfair
  • District Lofts
  • Loftika
  • 757 Condo
  • Nautica
  • Brickell Townhouses
  • Rosabella Lofts
  • Urbanea

Not known for towering highrises, Borges + Associates is shedding this perceived portfolio deficiency with Infinity I and II. The towering Infinity I is nearing completion and will stand as the firm’s flagship Miami developments.

Rendering: Infinity II

B+A designs are not known for their curves. Oppenheim-like in their tendency to incorporate sharp, straight lines, and cubes, their designs still somehow manage to refrain from predictability. Unfortunately, quite a few of their designs have remained on the drawing boards as Miami’s boom has subsided in favor a slump. The Miami Flatiron–not to be confused with the Brickell Flatiron–was never built. Biscayne Vista was canceled and the Design District Lofts seems to have been scrapped as well.

Despite this inevitable consequence of the bust, B+A has still excelled in Miami and, through their international partnerships (Global Studios and DRU Architectural Consultancy), are engaged in a couple of noteworthy developments overseas:

  • Galaxy Island, Bahrain
  • Dubai Creek Hotel

Rendering: Galaxy Island, Bahrain

B+A’s activities in Bahrain and Dubai add to Miami’s international architectural reach–with firms like Arquitectonica, BAP, and Oppenheim already heavily in the global mix while Fullerton Diaz and RVL are dabbling in it. Not yet considered one of the big players, B+A is on the up-and-up. Their international reach is sure to gain then additional notoriety, and Infinity I and II’s towering ambitious designs raise the bar for the loft-oriented firm. Expect B+A’s star to continue rising.

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