The Modern Magic CityAuthor:Lindsey Shook
Known as the “Magic City” due to the rapid growth in the past two decades, Miami is also considered the “Gateway to the Americas” to many. Almost every Latin and Caribbean culture is represented whether by restaurant or neighborhood. The Eastern European and Russian populations are doubling in size each year. And now with the influx of fabulous new residences, luxury hotels and economic growth, many Americans are making Miami home.
Along with this cultural diversity comes an array of design, architecture and culinary treasures, making an impact on a revitalized city that many consider just a place to party. A six-hour flight max from LA or SF, Miami is the new US destination for sun seekers who celebrate design, architecture and cultural richness.
FEATURED PROPERTY…THE EDITION
Hotelier and lifestyle expert Ian Schrager once again, has left us breathless with his newest urban resort hotel, The EDITION. Located on 3 acres of prime Miami Beach property, the spectacular collection of 294 individually designed guest rooms, including 28 limited-edition residences, is a renovation of the Seville Hotel, originally built in 1955. Known then as the destination for Hollywood and the glitterati, the building was designed by famed architect Melvin Grossman and became an iconic building for the “MiMo” style.
With the Delano, another successful South Beach property in his portfolio, Schrager clearly had a gift at recognizing key properties that would be a huge success. He partnered with Marriott International to manage the hospitality side of the business and has brought several industry leaders on board for the revitalization. Starting with lead designer Yabu Pushelberg, known for his work on the London EDITION and other phenomenal commercial spaces, the highly modern concept is clean and cool. The eye-catching entrance features a restoration of the original illuminated entry marquee its “S”-shaped concrete canopy one of the longest cantilevered structures of its kind surrounded by the lobby’s expansive glass walls. Inside the main dining space, the Matador Room that is operated by culinary genius chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten, hangs gorgeous large-scale photos of Matadors in action. Further inside is a grand chandelier in white plaster gesso that was original from the 1950s. For those who want a more laid back experience, chef Jean-Georges developed Market, the street level full service café that is a modern interpretation of the classic 24-hour Miami Beach coffee shop.
For the post-dinner delight, the crowd is moved to The Basement, the ground floor entertainment hot spot that includes a black-lit bowling alley and ice-skating rink, all outfitted with a state-of-the-art sound system, as well as dramatic lighting and projection effects created by world-renowned lighting designer Patrick Woodroffe.
If you enjoy your stay at the hotel way too much, you can purchase one of the 28 private bungalow. Some are two stories, but all are equipped with separate private bedroom, dining area, living room and private balcony. Upper-level landscaped bungalows include private roof decks and plunge pools with direct ocean views and are furnished with custom upholstered furniture, custom oak and walnut tables and cerused bleached consoles, but clearly you can design yourself. The Miami Beach real estate market is currently the hottest in the country with almost every new building sold out. So move fast if you are ready to purchase your second dream home on the sea.
Gregory and Karina Frehling, Miami natives and Owners of Oggetti Designs showroom located in the Miami’s Design District, kindly shared with us their view of the magic that’s happening in Miami.
What are your current thoughts on the rapid hospitality development in Miami?
The growth of hospitality and tourism is fantastic for retailers and design companies like us! With the new developments we see a major uptick in consumer spending on design luxuries.
Miami is known for its Deco style, do you feel the historical structures are being properly preserved?
Saving the Art Deco district is very important to both the government and people of Miami. The new developers are trying hard to demolish before the buildings get designation, however the preservation society is ensuring many of the historical structures are tastefully renovated and well preserved. Many of the new developments have been renovated while maintaining the integrity of the original design. We also are now very focused on saving the Mimo district on Biscayne and the Mimo buildings of Bal Harbour. Our favorite Mimo is the Bay Harbor Club Condos where “Dexter” lived on the Showtime series.
Any other architecture or design trends you see emerging?
We are noticing that the architecture currently under development, is much more creative and bold with a strong emphasis on design. World-renowned architects such as Bjarke Ingels, Herzog and de Meuron, Zaha Hadid, and Rem Koolhaas are designing residential high rises, retail buildings and cultural institutions through out the Design District, Downtown and Miami Beach. Oh and Marble is back in a big way, making things oh so glamorous!
Miami is known for it’s lavish homes and hotels but what do you consider to be the most coveted public buildings or spaces?
Share 2 of your favorites of the below, from a “design lens” point of view:
OTHER NOTABLE MIAMI MUST-STOPS!
WHERE TO SHOP:
- Alchemist for their Avant garde approach to fashion
- The Miami Design District to adorn yourself or home
WHERE TO EAT & DRINK…
- Wynwood Kitchen for artistry and Latin flare
- Mandolin for magical Mediterranean fare
- Drunken Dragon for Pan-Asian delight
- The Broken Shaker for cool cocktails amongst the stars
WHAT TO SEE…
- Wynwood Walls for the most amazing gallery of graffiti in the world
- Vizcaya to travel back in time, elegantly
- The New World Center designed by Frank Gehry
WHAT TO DO….
*The must-do Miami event of the year is Art Basel Miami, happening this December 3-6, 2015. Now in its 13th year, the annual premiere art show features an overload of painting, sculpture, performance art and more from global artists. When tired of the fairs, head over to Design Miami to see the world’s top galleries gather to present museum-quality exhibitions of twentieth and twenty-first century furniture, lighting and objets d’art. Turn a corner at any party and you might bump into Peter Marino while listening to Arcade Fire dj at the impressive Soho Beach House tent. A head turning spectacle to say the least, it is by far one of the coolest, cultured conventions in one of the world’s most beautiful locations.