A distinct community within Miami’s patchwork of neighborhoods, Coconut Grove offers an alternative to metropolitan downtown. A new typology of living has emerged in the Grove – one deeply connected with the local community yet offering the intimacy of a private retreat. As the last developable site in a string of large scale condos, offices and hotel buildings along the main waterfront thoroughfare Bay Shore Drive, the site possesses great potential and difficulties. This rare break in an otherwise impenetrable wall of towers is the only remaining connection point between Coconut Grove’s community scale and a series of civic assets along Biscayne Bay. Located at the nexus of the Miami’s urban grid and the bay’s edge, the site has the unique potential to be a seamless connection between the city and coast.
Can the new development facilitate a new type of luxury residential complex that embraces the multiple scales and qualities that intersect at this point?
OMA’s design inverts the local trend of high-density massing and establishes a new approach to vertical living more attuned to Coconut Grove. The site’s porosity was preserved by distributing 1 million square feet of living between three towers across a five acre lot. Residents maintain a connection to Coconut Grove’s lush natural setting as they arrive at the landscaped plinth and ascend to units that enjoy views of Biscayne Bay.
An undulating plinth shapes amphitheater style entrances. A roof landscape creates a continuous grove over tiered amenities including storage, wine cellar, gym, screening room, wine cellar, and storage. From the lobby, five distinct circulation cores accommodate direct access into units. Asymmetrical cylindrical towers provide a diversity of unit floor plans, arranged on axis with the bay. Inspired by the organic shapes of the nearby barrier reefs, the curved plates contribute to optimized views while decreasing wind-loads and improving façade-to-area ratios. Panorama views merge interior with exterior – an attribute of local cottages.
Sculptural perimeter columns bound each tower, directing views toward the bay and providing column-free living. The spacing of these columns addresses privacy requirements between towers, while the orientation of columns mitigates solar exposure. The tapering column profile creates a destabilizing, mirage-like effect from afar, while maximizing their connection to the faceted glass façade on a construction detail level.