Below are selected examples of my journalism writing. More can be found on the front page.
In Miami, the perfect time to unveil designs for a major new contemporary art institution in the city is the first week of December: Miami Art Week. It’s the week the annual international art fair, Art Basel Miami Beach, comes to town, and in previous years the unveilings of many of the city’s newer arts centers, including the Perez Art Museum Miami and Institute of Contemporary Art Miami, have been timed to match.
During this year’s Miami Art Week, which passed just a few weeks ago, Miami’s Berkowitz Contemporary Foundation unveiled the designs for its new building and collection space just north of Downtown Miami. It’s a museum-like building for museum-quality art designed by the prominent Miami architect Rene Gonzalez. Located on the city’s iconic Biscayne Boulevard, in eye-shot of Biscayne Bay, the 45,000-square-foot structure is designed around two monumental pieces of contemporary art, James Turrell’s light sculpture Aten Reign and Richard Serra’s Passage of Time.
DESIGN DESTINATION: MIAMI ADVICE
When traveling, always look to locals for guidance. Ahead of our trip to South Florida for Design Miami/ and Art Basel in Miami Beach, as well as other art fairs, we asked Sean McCaughan, the former founding editor in curbed.com’s Miami bureau, for some tips on where to stay and what to see.
If you’re looking for some luxury while in town, the new Four Seasons at the Surf Club is a nice choice. A historic private beach club with a fresh new Four Seasons Hotel designed by Richard Meier attached, the property melds much that is beautiful about old and new Miami into a grand whole. Plus, if you’re in town for the fairs, it won’t be too far at all from the hubbub, and yet just far enough for a little serenity and quiet on the beach. Its restaurant, Le Sirenuse Miami, is quite the choice for power diners among the billionaire set.
Then of course there’s the Vagabond, in Miami’s MiMo (short for Miami Modern) District, which is particularly popular with the locals. This fabulous 1953 motel cut no corners on design in its renovation a few years back, and yet remains wonderfully casual, and rather affordable as well. It’s a place easy to fall in love with, or maybe it’s just the mosaic mermaid at the bottom of the swimming pool seducing us.
MUSEUM POWER SQUABBLE BORDERS ON THE SURREAL
NORTH MIAMI, Fla. — In a somewhat bizarre arrangement, scholars gathered at the Museum of Contemporary Art here this weekend for a symposium led by a man whom city officials view as the museum’s director and who museum officials regard as an impostor. It was scheduled despite objections from the museum’s board, which ultimately gave up its effort to cancel the event inside the museum’s city-owned building.
A HIKE DOWN IN VILLA VIZCAYA’S MYSTERIOUS JUNGLE MOAT
Vizcaya, the early 20th century winter home of Chicago industrialist James Deering was almost from its earliest inception destined to be far more than just a big house in Coconut Grove, despite Deering’s desire for a comfortable and pleasant place to spend the winters and entertain relatives in his retirement. As soon as Deering met Vizcaya’s chief designer, or ‘creative director’ as he is also known, Paul Chalfin, the estate became a great gestamkunstverk, or total work of art.
THE FULL-SIZE ARCHITECTURAL MOCKUPS OF MIAMI’S LATEST STARCHITECT-DESIGNED BUILDINGS
Around Miami, substantial new condo buildings by Pritzker Prize-winning-architects are on the rise, each going through similar processes of construction to ensure these often technically complex, creative towers are executed according to the designers’ original vision. One Thousand Museum, by Zaha Hadid, Park Grove by Rem Koolhaas/OMA, and Herzog & de Meuron’sJade Signature, under construction in Miami boast mockups of facades, balconies, and exoskeletons.
RICKENBACKER CAUSEWAY PARK WOULD STRING TOGETHER MIAMI’S OWN EMERALD NECKLACE
In the annals of urban planning and landscape design, the original ‘Emerald Necklace’ is a string of interconnected parks in Boston designed by Fredrick Law Olmsted that link the old Boston Common with Franklin Park, looping around the city. Rickenbacker Park, a new linear park proposed by architect Bernard Zyscovich also known as ‘Plan Z,’ could similarly string together a chain of existing parks and green space along the Rickenbacker Causeway, creating an emerald necklace for Miami that would be South Florida’s own version of Olmsted’s great design.
WHAT’S OLD IS NEW: MAPPING MIAMI’S HISTORIC AND NOT-SO-HISTORIC REAL ESTATE
Visualizing urban development patterns by age can reveal a lot about the evolution of a city, historically and up to the present day. To state the obvious, historic preservation is a very hot topic in Miami right now. Miami’s most historic neighborhoods are not coincidentally many of its most popular, presenting a need for preservation, a public desire to preserve what makes those neighborhoods special to begin with, and inherent challenges to that preservation. Cities are also built in very different ways than they were in the past. Greater Miami is, of course, no exception to this rule, although development happens a little differently everywhere. By using data from the Miami-Dade Property appraiser, Gridics has mapped urban development across the entire county by decade constructed in shades of blue, allowing patterns of growth to be seen in the data. To interact with the maps yourself, go to the Property Records map view, and turn on the ‘Age of Property by Dacede’ layer in the upper right corner.
For the super rich in Miami, it’s no longer enough to own a coastal view. If you really want to make a splash on the elite real estate scene, you’ll snag a piece of a private island. From North Miami to the heart of Biscayne Bay, developers are pouring millions of dollars into full-service luxury communities on secluded private islands.
The trend isn’t exactly new — affluent havens like Fisher Island and Star Island were among Miami’s most desirable areas a century ago. Now island living is back, but with new levels of luxury that rival five-star resorts.
The current boom was ignited by a $47 million, record-setting home sale in 2012 on secluded Indian Creek Island. Roughly eight miles north of South Beach, the cay has one of the largest concentrations of wealth and power on the planet. It boasts an 18-hole golf course and a private police force. Its list of boldface residents has included Beyoncé, Jay Z, Julio Iglesias, supermodel Adriana Lima and billionaire investor Carl Icahn — but until that jaw-dropping sale two years ago, the area had remained largely under the radar.
The Lapidus Touch—The Architect’s Newspaper
Babylon Apartments in Miami, One of Arquitectonica’s First Designs, is at Risk—The Architect’s Newspaper
Eight Years On, How Has Miami’s Form-Based Code Primed the City for Unprecedented Growth—The Architect’s Newspaper
An Iconic Miami Villa-Turned-Museum Prepares for a Major Expansion to Reclaim Its Former Glory—The Architect’s Newspaper
Miami’s New Urbanist Experiment—The Architect’s Newspaper
Miami on the Make: Adjaye, Fuller, and Foster—The Architect’s Newspaper
Postmodernism Post-Denial—The Architect’s Newspaper
To Bimini & Back Part One: To Bimini, by Flying Boat—Curbed Miami