Currently viewing the tag: "Herzog and De Meuron"

image001Head to the Lincoln theater on October 21 and talk with ‘starchitects’ Herzog and DeMeuron about their design for the new Miami Art Museum. While you are there ask them why they designed such an ugly building for our most important local art collection. Gotta say, if I could take back my vote for the GOB bond measure that is helping to pay for this I would. Just another disposable building that will be replaced in 20 years. Sigh.

I am sorry, in my previous post I neglected to mention that there is an improvement in the new Alton Road: They propose increasing the parking lane to 9 feet!

On-street parking is a dangerous, highly addictive habit. When you know it is available, you want it, and may not stop at anything to get it. Plus, not to mention, it is likely cheaper than any parking garage. You let its availability control your life: you plan and scheme to get your fix of it and you will fight to defend your right to stop a lane or two of traffic to maneuver your Hummer into a space.

I want to thank the members of the Alliance for Reliable Transport (ART), for forcing FDOT and the City to see a vision of the future that is different and will, then by definition bring new and needed results. Even I was skeptical when a respected ART steering committee member returned from far-flung historic and highly urbanized Cities around the world with pictures of streets built properly. Streets with wide sidewalks, luscious shade trees and dedicated bicycle lanes. Could this really exist here at home? ART showed us that it could. Yet, no one seems to listen.

If the city and DOT do not listen to ART, at least listen to the neighborhoods: Flamingo Neighborhood, led by Judy Robinson or the Westies, always well represented by Arthur Marcus (and Benita Argos). They know you cannot cross Alton Road, ride on Alton Road, or enjoy a peaceful alfresco meal without inhaling exhaust on Alton Road. We are begging FDOT and the City for something different.

If not the Artists or the Neighbors, listen to the City Engineer, the Traffic Manager or the Public Works Director: Wide sidewalk and a demarked bicycle facility for non-motorized vehicles will increase mobility…. mobility is the key to our economic engine: getting tourists in, getting around, spending their money and leaving to make room for the next.

We should listen to the Costal Communities Transportation Master Plan (CCTMP) that says the traffic and congestion problems do not come from our neighbors; it is internal. The congestion occurs because we believe that we can only get around our seven squares in our cars due to the abundant on-street parking! We should follow the lead of the Mayor of Paris who banned parking on the Champs Ellissee!

Nothing causes more congestion than parking. It takes away the opportunity to do anything else with our precious right-of way but store a ton or two of steel and plastic. Parking is not traffic calming. It is parking. At $1500.00/space (the average revenue per year), the City adds $487,000 a year to its coffers (well, not really into the general fund because parking is an enterprise fund.) Is it worth it? Is $500,000, more a year into the bottomless and questionably productive Parking Fund worth the death of businesses or a pedestrian trying to cross the street?

The misconception that there are not enough parking opportunities on Alton Road with out the 325 on street parking spaces is just that: a myth. The City is spending $15 MILLION dollars for 1000 parking spaces at 5thth and West, not to mention that the Herzog & de Meuron Garage and the Robbins Garage will add hundreds spaces. There is ample parking in the area, so when will we be able to re-purpose on-street parking? There is no time better than this project. and Alton, there is parking at 10

11 11 Alton, Miami Beach

Finally, there is the little matter of a memo related to non-motorized vehicles on Alton Road, among others and FDOT statue 335.065(1)(a). In December of 2006, the City declared many of our streets “generally not safe” for non-motorized vehicles”. Don’t we then have an obligation to make them safe by adding a segregated facility for them? Here is our opportunity and an accompanying Florida Statue! The State has a legislative mandate to add the bicycle lane, enhance pedestrian accessibility, and improve safety for all modes of transport. Nowhere in the State Statue or in the City Code is parking (on street parking) given the same kind of priority. Instead, we make that up and justify it with a 10-year-old report called The Walker Study.

Come out on June 26 and tell the City of Miami Beach and the State of Florida that any renovation or rehabilitation of Alton Road that does not include a dedicated bike lane, 20 foot sidewalks, and a travel lane 12 foot wide to accommodate the Baylink is not an Alton Road we want to waste our money on. Tell the bureaucrats and politicians that we will not sit through two torturous years of road construction to end up with the same road we have today.

A collective sigh of relief can be heard as the unveiling of this intriguing new building for the home of the Miami Art Museum is commenced. Recent memory cannot recall a time when so much anticipation over a new civic structure has captured the imagination and concern of so many. I for one am completely ecstatic. As is much reported with Herzog and DeMeuron, one never knows quite what to expect, but can usually rest assured that something of great beauty will transpire, and they do not disappoint.
The initial model and renderings for the building depict an elegant, entirely contemporary building, that manages to embrace and incorporate many of Miami’s architectural histories, and issues. With the first and third floors sheathed in glass the 2nd floor galleries appear the levitate. The generous canopied roof provides a huge amount of shaded exterior public space that will be punctuated by sculptural indigenous plants, some climbing the columns, others hanging down through a beautiful abstraction of skylights that perforate the roof. These features will go a long way to ensure the capture of bay breezes for natural cooling.

The sheltered plaza should be all that is necessary to alleviate the concerns of massive buildings overrunning the park. The visual lightness of the structure as well will serve to maintain that the natural elements of the bay and the park are heralded.

The building could well be described as quiet. Herzog and DeMeuron are known for creating architecture that is subtle restrained and delicate and yet absolutely brilliant, even scintillating, at the same time. It brings to mind other recent important museums that, while also great architecture, could be seen as boisterous and some would go as far as to say gauche, by comparison, and yet no more aesthetically satisfying.

This is an exciting time for architecture and design in Miami and we could now well have a crown jewel.

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Via the Miami Herald:

”It’s an original Miami building,” said museum director Terence Riley. “It’s not New York; it’s not London. Right away, it has an iconic quality. But what I’m really excited about is that it appears it’s going to be a fantastic museum.”

The design also was inspired by what Riley referred to as a classic example of South Florida ”folk architecture” — Stiltsville.

Inside, visitors will find a museum that does not, in Riley’s words, ”aspire to be a mini-MOMA or a mini-Tate,” alluding to museums with encyclopedic collections of modern art. Rather, Riley wants to build a collection that focuses on specific artists and offers broad overviews of artistic movements.

We’ll be back with some commentary and thoughts once we have the chance to review the plans over the weekend…Stay Tuned…

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It has been announced, to the excitement of many, that the new design for Miami Art Museum will be announced during ART BASEL 07. This couldn’t be more appropriate considering that the architects hometown is in fact Basel Switzerland.
I thought it would be a good time to consider just what we might be in for. Here are several images of recent projects by the duo of Pritzker Prize winning architects.Whether it be residential interiors in NYC, or a stadium in Germany one confounding truth is that their work is so varied and site specific, it is almost impossible to even attempt to forecast any design model for Miami.For those eagerly awaiting the unveiling, I hope this little taste helps.

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A recent article in The Biscayne Times discussed the possibility of Museum Park going back to the drawing boards, at least to a certain extent. I find it hard to believe that the debate over Bicentennial Park/Museum Park still goes on as some of the greatest architects in the world are currently designing museums for the space.
The complaint over rising expenditure will only be exacerbated by this continuous bait and switch over the future of the city’s greatest park, long since a derelict shame for the great city of Miami. There is a constant grousing over the lack of public waterfront access, and yet one of the proposed solutions would be to infill the waterway adjacent to the park, diminishing the waterfront footage by as much as fifty percent. The idea of using landfill from the tunnel project will push the execution of Museum Park back by years.
The park as it is designed now is a stunning example of dynamic urban planning. The structures of the two museums occupy only a small fraction of the green space of Bicentennial Park and will create a vibrant cultural intersection for this valuable piece of publicly held real estate. The current design gives the parkgoer many, many, diverse options to experience the waterfront and green space in a thrilling new downtown of exceptional design quality.

The selection of Swiss architects Herzog and De Meuron to design the new Miami Art Museum is a coup of historical scale. One only has to look at the success of the new DeYoung Museum, in the middle of San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park, to leave themselves craving the realization of such a park for Miami, now.The cultural campus being created by the trifecta of the Carnival Center and the two new museums will be absolutely world class. The fulfillment of which defines true great urban environments. I have walked by this park hundreds of times, mourning its potential and wondering if we will all live to see it come to its fruition.

Furthermore, as pointed out in a recent SSC posting by Rx727sfl2002, the park is to0 deep (distance from waterfront to Biscayne Boulevard) to ensure the security of parkgoers. The museums would provide lighting and security that would render the park much more user friendly even into the evening hours.As several of the exciting elements of the new downtown near completion it is unfortunate that Museum Park is still a distant reality. There will soon be a decisive moment in the growth of Miami and it’s perception by people around the globe. It would be a disservice not to have the greatness of this Museum Park as part of that moment, particularly when the process has very carefully come this far, under the watchful eye of those most qualified.

Terence Riley being named the director of the Miami Art Museum was yet another coup, whose enormous benefits cannot be understood at this early date. His time as the architecture and design director of MoMA in NYC and his overseeing the complete redesign and construction of that institution clearly show we are in for greatness in Miami.

As a member of the community who treasures the unique natural wonders of Miami, I can only hope that we honor and highlight those qualities with Museum Park and its museums as a scintillating backdrop.

Photo Credits: JamesGood, Marshall Astor/Life of the Edge, Kevotravel, The Tables Have Turned

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