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OMA (Shohei Shigematsu); Faena District in Miami Beach; Photo: Iwan Baan

Modern trio: Faena District in Miami Beach

The building plot concerned seems predestined for dramatic architecture, being located between two waterfront promenades flanking busy Collins Avenue to the east and the more peaceful Indian Creek to the west. The site's new trio of buildings – the central Faena Forum, the Bazaar and a multi-storey car park – join with the existing Faena Hotel to form a complete quarter of its own: the Faena District.

The Faena Bazaar, due to be opened this year and located between the Forum and the parking garage, basically consists of an existing historical building that has now undergone renovation.  The almost completely cubic volume is the smallest of the three structures and compared to its extravagant neighbours is relatively unobtrusive in appearance thanks to its simple white punctuated façade. Indoors a central atrium is delineated by vertical spaced slats that are similar to a sheer curtain in effect.

The Bazaar is followed to the north by the parking garage, a building that makes the impression of a compact volume on the outside. Coming with a facade characterised by circular perforated elements and large expanses of glass, it provides glimpses both into and out of the building in intriguing manner.

The centrepiece of the development consists of the Forum to the south, made up of two simple geometric volumes – a cylinder and a cuboid.  Likewise in white, the Forum's concrete façade consists of a network of irregular curves and lines that form a fascinating interplay of windows and wall surfaces. At first glance a wedge seems to have been cut out of the base of the cylinder; on closer inspection, it turns out to be an overhang created to form a sheltered entrance situation, with an outer stairway reaching this main means of access. The interior spaces are bright and flooded with light.

Programmatically the cylindrical and cuboid volumes are adjoined into a functional whole and feature a high, dome-shaped space, a theatre and various meeting rooms. Flexible plan geometries enable a broad variety of events. No matter whether a private exhibition or a concert is concerned, the Faena Forum can accommodate all requirements, making it a multi-facetted reinterpretation of a cultural venue.

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