Saturday, March 24, 2007

The Architecture God Has Spoken: Espirito Santo Plaza in Miami Shows Less Really is More

I consider this to be one of the most beautiful buildings in the world and the best example of my credo Less is More. According to the Espirito Banco Portuguese banking family, their 36-story Miami office, designed by Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates , symbolizes Miami's gateway to the Americas. The subtle, 30-story concave arch of glass is Miami's answer to the St. Louis Gateway Arch. Located in Miami's financial district which has become known as the "Wall Street of the South," the building sits at 1395 Brickell Avenue as a glistening jewel of monumental sculpture. Consisting of offices, condos, and a luxury hotel (Conrad Hilton) on the last 11-floors, the things I love most about it besides its sublime design are:
  • It's ballsy sky lobby that begins on the 25th floor. It separates the hotel suites from the condos and serves as the access point to the restaurant and lounge. The view is to die for and the happy hour drinking scene is well worth the schlep upward.
  • An inspiring four-story, glass atrium surrounding a "water court" on the second level. This open, naturally lit space contains the main elevator banks and a translucent glass-bottomed reflecting pool above the building's driveway and a pedestrian bridge from the adjacent parking garage.
  • Moving water is "an integral part of the aesthetics of the building" and that theme is found throughout the complex in various forms ranging from waterfalls to reflecting pools.

Now if someone would just fix the broken windows from hurricane Wilma! I mean, it's close to a year-and-a-half since it hit for crisesakes! Do I have to come down there and do it myself? Don't make me come down there. I'm warning you. If you can't take care of your beautiful things, I'll find me another city to favor where its citizens love and respect where they live. You know, some place like Atlanta.

Previous pronouncements by A.G can be found here.


NicFitKid said...

Yeah, yeah, pretty and lovely, blah, blah. My lowly perspective of this building is from the loading docks on the north side. It has the slowest freight elevator to the office levels of any building in town, and there's only one damn elevator. The other two are exclusively for the hotel/condo levels. Security requires me to use the slow-ass freight though, even though all I ever bring up is some damned lawyer's papers.

If you're looking for the replacement glass, it can be found along the first level of the attached parking garage (north entrance); most of the panes are still in their crates. If you're looking for an amphibious car, they've got one of those too. If you're looking to protest the French, this building houses their consulate, so feel free to make use of the expansive sidewalk out front. If francophobia isn't your thing, you can always line up under the scaffolds and protest the violation of area standards with your fellow union members. Don't forget to bring an inflatable rat.

Hey, didn't Pinochet bank with Espiritu Santo?

condo in Philippines said...

What a stunning condo building in Miami.

Paula M