Slab, corridorSlab, gallery-access
Imperial
Arquitectonica | Miami, USA | 1979
Image of Imperial
View from Biscayne Bay

ProjectImperial
ArchitectArquitectonica
CityMiami
CountryUSA
Address1627 Brickell Ave.
Building TypeSlab, gallery access
Number of Dwellings156 flats; 5 duplexe townhouses
Date Built1979
Dwelling Types2 & 3 BR. flats, townhouses
No. Floors31
Section Typeflats; two story duplexes at podium level
Exterior Finish
Materials
stucco, glass & aluminum
Construction TypeRC frame
Ancillary ServicesParking, pool, tennis

This is the second of three large apartment slabs designed by Arquitectonicia for the Biscayne Bay waterfront in Miami in the late 1970’s (see Palace for more) . The 31-story, single-loaded slab was conceived as a rectangular glass box resting on podium sited perpendicular to the waterfront. The entrance ramp leads from Brickell Avenue through a landscaped zone along the street up to the top of the podium and through an eight-story high entrance port cohere. Some common spaces and parking are incorporated into the podium and open out to a lower swimming pool and terrace along the water. The north side of the block is rendered as a red plaster wall with deeply recessed rectangular openings. This element expresses the gallery organization of the typical floor plan and is detached from the surface of the podium revealing a two-story high zone of the slab that is a row of duplex dwellings that open to the terrace level. The red north wall extends above the top of the roof and is pitched upwards towards the bay end of the building defining a unique penthouse apartment that was designed for the previous owner of the site that is colored blue with a curving roof and a landscaped terrace overlooking Biscayne Bay. Balconies at the north and south ends of the building along with the vertical strip of rounded balconies midway along the north wall heighten the perception that the red wall is a freestanding screen and are a clue to the gallery organization of the plan. Continuous, cantilevered white balconies wrap the other three sides of the slab providing some sun control and modest exterior space. Oblique, vertical partitions between dwellings along the balconies are also colored blue and give the impression of an underlying larger structural order resulting in the layered quality of the facades. At the top third of the building, a three-story high blue grid extends around the west end and partly along the south facade delineating a zone of special solarium apartments. The gallery type is unusual for speculative housing in the US where logic of placing the gallery along the north side of the building usually gives way to the economic and exit considerations inherent in double-loaded circulation systems. The bold colors, elemental geometry, and sparse detailing are Arqitectonica trademarks that help define a unique Miami genre.

Dunlop, Beth, Arquitectonica, The American Institute of Architects Press, Washington, 1991, pp. 36-45

Futagawa, Yukio, GA Document 7, A.D.A. EDITA, Tokyo, 1983, pp. 17-31.

Process Architecture 65,1986, p. 43-44.

Progressive Architecture,Jan, 1980.

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