City Of Miami
The city of Miami is notable for having a porous urbanism with an ill-defined public realm. This project seeks to create an urban moment within Miami’s sea of atomized architectures. Rather than perpetuate the history of lost unmoored architectures in Miami, these townhouses combine with an important piece of transportation infrastructure to define urban space.
The site for these townhomes is located on the edge of a residential neighborhood defined by a heavy rail transit line, the Miami Metrorail. The development of this project parallels the transformation of this important piece of infrastructure into a public park, The Underline. This new linear park transforms the structure of the elevated train line and into an occupied piece of architecture – a many miles long arcade. The architecture of these townhouses responds to this remarkable infrastructural reprograming by merging the typologies of townhouse and loggia to create a private building that contributes to the definition of the public realm. As a porous façade, these townhouses define an entry into the Underline park.
The townhouse is important contributor to the urban fabric of many important cities. It is a durable housing typology that provides accessible and flexible living accommodations while defining streets, plazas and parks. The townhouse is a serial building typology which gains its urban presence as it is repeated.
These seven townhouses embrace this repeatability by creating a full block façade that uses variation in the loggia’s column spacing and balcony sizing. Seen as a unified façade from afar, these variations distinguish each townhouse individually. In addition to allying with the architecture of the Metrorail, this project creates an urban corner of two streets. At this intersection, the project represents the dynamic forces of the site: on the one hand it defines the radius of the corner while on the other hand it exposes the parallel structures of the Metrorail and the townhouses. At the corner unit, a rounded room on the ground floor anchors the project to the site as the second and third floors of the unit pull back from the other six units to create a cantilever that extends over the driveway.
Each townhouse is three-stories tall. The central focus of each townhome is the second floor. Open at both ends, this space is twelve feet tall and fifty-two feet long with extending balconies. This space is an affirmation of the well worn typology of a palazzo’s piano nobile – an elegant principal floor that contains the public spaces of an urban house. A linear stair with a vertical screen topped by a skylight connects all the floors providing natural light in the middle of each home.
From the 2022 AIA Florida Awards Program:
The jury says “the loggia unifies the whole with classical influence and proportions, simple gestures that create an elegant façade for the townhouses.” The three-story tall townhouses create a piano noble, an elegant design solution for a primary living space that brakes down the volume of each unit. “It makes the basic box into something more” the jury said … “both modern and classic.”
Citation Award for Unbuilt Work
The Florida Association of the America Institute of Architects, 2022
Jason R. Chandler, FAIA, Zalmy Meyer, AIA
Mechanical, Electrical and Plumbing Engineering: Franyie Engineering Inc.
Structural Engineering: De Los Reyes Engineering Inc.
Civil Engineering: Zamora and Associates, Inc.
Lighting: Max Ferrarati