Arquitectonica to replace OMA at Miami Convention Center redevelopment

Architecture, East, News, Newsletter
Tuesday, August 12, 2014
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What could have been - OMA's plan for Miami Convention Center. (Courtesy OMA)

What could have been – OMA’s plan for Miami Convention Center. (Courtesy OMA)

Some of the most exciting renderings of the past few years came out of the epic face-off between teacher and student for Miami’s convention center. We’re of course referring to bids by Rem Koolhaas’ OMA and the Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) to radically expand and  transform the facility. While it looked like a pretty evenly-matched fight, Rem ultimately won-out with a dramatic transformation of the site. But it was only a matter of time until project accountants and fiscally conservative politicians made it clear that Rem’s billion dollar plans were not going to be realized.

Aerial view of OMA's plan. (Courtesy OMA)

Aerial view of OMA’s plan. (Courtesy OMA)

As AN covered in January, Miami Beach’s new mayor, Philip Levin said the city should scrap the project entirely and pursue a more modest renovation. Well, half a year later, the team in charge of making that less-exciting plan a reality has been revealed. ExMiami reported that Koolhaas has officially been replaced by Arquitectonica and landscape firm West 8.

“Koolhaas, regarded by many as one of the greatest living architects, was given the boot following the election of Philip Levine as mayor,” reported  the site, which continued on to lambast the choice. “Instead, mediocre local firm Arquitectonica, with a long history of churning out subpar buildings with especially poor street level design, is now overseeing exterior architecture.”

According to the site, the revised plans call for renovating the current space, and adding a meeting room and ballroom. An existing parking lot will be converted into a 6.5-acre park, while new parking spaces will be placed on top of the existing structure.

Designs are expected to be released in December.

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