The Miami Beach Convention Center, the giant box with a smidgen of architectural flair that probably looked modern when it was built in 1957, is in dire need of a makeover.
The City of Miami Beach is currently vetting two proposed convention center renovations, each costing a billion dollars of public and private money, and will choose the winner next month. The proposals, which totally reimagine 52-acres of prime Beach real estate, are currently on view to the public at City Hall through June 21.
One is dubbed South Beach ACE (Arts, Culture, Entertainment District) and is a collaboration between Rem Koolhaas’s OMA firm; Tishman, who are building the new World Trade Center in New York; UIA; MVVA; Raymond Jungles; and TVS.
ACE will rotate the convention center to face the Jackie Gleason Theater, which will be renovated to include a two-sided stage. A hotel will sit on top of the convention hall, curving like the Fontainebleau. The parking lot will be covered by a new, elevated park that will cleverly disguise 44 truck loading bays and 1,000 cars.
The other proposal by BIG, West 8, Fentress, JPA, and Portman CMC, is dubbed Miami Beach Square for the open space situated in the middle of the convention center and hotel, the Jackie Gleason Theater, City Hall, a Latin American Museum, and a botanical ballroom.
Although their original plan converted the historic Jackie Gleason Theater into the convention hotel, after public outcry, the team revised to keep the theater and open it up at the street level. The hotel now sits adjacent to the convention hall, sharing the same roof.
Most interestingly, however, is that this proposal includes a giant canvas on top of the convention center that will rotate with new artwork to be seen by hotel guests above, airplanes, and Google Earth.
Both plans connect the convention center to surrounding attractions like the Holocaust Museum, Miami Beach Botanical Gardens, Soundscape Park, and Lincoln Road.
And both are designed to increase pedestrian traffic with plenty of shaded green space, and both have convention center interiors that blend in with the bright outdoors thanks to giant windows and massive glass doors.
The two projects would both cost around $1.2 billion dollars to build although the Miami Beach Square team says theirs would rely less on public funding and generate $80 million more revenue for the city, reports the Miami Herald.
And while the Miami Square project includes a shorter hotel that blends in more with the low profile of the existing Miami Beach cityscape, the ACE project boasts more public space and less of a building footprint.