Tuesday, March 04, 2014

CLOG: Miami


One of our intrepid correspondent's essay got picked-up by the influential architectural publication CLOG. Each quarterly issue "explores, from multiple viewpoints and various means, a single subject particularly relevant to architecture now." D.C. Copeland's A Cluster of Brown Dwarfs takes the less fawning and more critical stance in the issue that, although the region has a host of "starchitect's" buildings here, none of their completed projects or those in the foreseeable future are iconic: 

"Instead of landmark buildings— the supernovas in the SoFla starchitect constellation— palm trees, bikinis, beaches, and sweat stains will become the sole identifiers for the region. Of course, no city needs a landmark building but it's nice to have one, especially if the burg has pretensions of greatness. If SoFla is to be taken seriously as the “Gateway of the Americas,” it should demand more from the starchitects circling the current building boom. Maybe Gehry or SOM will come to the rescue when their designs for the arts building and train station are revealed. Until then, of the brown dwarfs, a possible contender as an example of “destination architecture” is Hadid’s parking garage since it reflects her futuristic, other-worldly style. While it stands out from the crowd, it’s only a parking garage— unless, of course, as a resident in the cluster, you’re proud to be living in a region famous for its parking garages."

That said, Miami and Miami Beach should be thankful that such a well-respected publication sought to highlight the region for this issue. It's a visual tour de force and includes essays by such luminaries in the field as architect Andrés Duany, a founder of the New Urbanism  movement and the guiding hand behind the Miami21 zoning code whose essay is titled "Miami is the Best City of its Age;" Chad Oppenheim (whose work we love); Terrence Riley (an architect and once director of the old Miami Art Musuem who we took to task for choosing Herzog & de Meuron as architects for the new Miami Art Museum); and a host of other academics and practitioners of the art and science of the profession.  CLOG: Miami is a unique touchstone to the region's architectural past, present, and future and is worth a buy for anyone interested in our man-made skyline and the power and politics of architecture.

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