Project Description



Project Type: Education

Construction Type: Commercial

Work Performed: Design

Year Designed: 2019 -2020

Material Type: Concrete | Steel

Project Location: Miami, FL

Project Size: 1,000,000 SF

Project Description

The Miami High Rise project was introduced as the first and only project for the first semester of fourth year architecture school. This project was to serve as the ‘capstone project’ of NDSU’s Bachelor of Science in Architecture program. A showcase project to put four years of hard work to the ultimate test in designing one of the biggest projects yet. Each student was assigned a site located in Miami, FL. The class took a weeklong trip to Miami to tour the city and each site. This allowed for a more in-depth site analysis while students could begin to understand the atmosphere surrounding their sites. The project serves to demonstrate the skills and knowledge of each student and their ability to synthesize a wide range of variables such as site design, circulation, passive design, structure, mechanical systems, materials, etc., into an integrated design solution in the form of a high rise structure. Alongside a long list of criteria for designing each building, the high-rise project had multiple requirements for the final presentation that had to be met for completion. Each student was required to create and publish a book that included all research and crucial information that went into the design of the building. A final 1” = 30’ scale model had to be built for integration into the large-scale model of the city. Finally, presentation boards were to be designed and printed for the project showcase gallery open to the public at the end of the semester. Any other additional presentation styles were welcome if you met the requirements within a 4’ x 8’ presentation space. Students were encouraged to design, build, and create unique presentation formats that meet all requirements and more.

The high-rise project was given the title “Mayaimi”, the name of the 16th Century Tequesta Indian village that once originated where Miami now stands. Located in the heart of Miami’s Arts and Entertainment District, the site currently hosts a three-story office building, parking lot, and Metrobus station as well as a Metromover station. Both the Metrobus and Metromover were integrated into the project. After analyzing the site and its surrounding context it was clear that the existing site was very inaccessible for the public. Creating a design that welcomed the public and created efficient circulation through and around the site was one of the first crucial design decisions. The second biggest consideration was the location in comparison to surrounding buildings. Careful analysis of both existing and future buildings had to be made in order to judge the best long term orientation for the projects prime viewing paths. While the existing building to the south is only 5 stories tall and doesn’t impact the future designed tower, other vacant lots surrounding the site have a possibility of being developed into similar height high rise towers. With consideration of code requirements, maximum floor square footages per use, and different implemented methods to gain bonus square footage allowed for a 45-story tower. By rotating the tower 15 degrees to the southeast, a view path presents itself that will be completely open to the ocean whether or not the other sites begin to be developed. As it rotates towards the premium views, the tower balances carefully on the site as to not completely block the views of the existing buildings surrounding it.

A 45-story multi-use project combining residential apartment and condo units, a hotel, office space, and retail. To solve the circulation issues on the immense site, the base of the site was designed to remain open and accessible for the public to move freely. The site is very large and needed careful consideration of public circulation. By splitting the building program into two separate structures, a public open space reveals itself allowing for cutting paths to form throughout the site. The site required parking for each of the uses. While the water table would not allow for underground parking, the design integrates the parking on the ground floor. In order to bring circulation through the site, each corner of the site is sloped up onto the top of the parking garage. The parking garage is hidden below the open public plaza allowing for the public to regain use of the site. The main street level of the site is dedicated to vehicles. While the second level of the site is for pedestrians.

The analysis of the site and careful considerations of the people who inhabit it allows for the building to present itself in a manner that will draw people to visit it. With the mix of retail, residential, hotel, and offices the site forms into a location for people to enjoy as a work life environment. The tower provides undeniably beautiful views to the sea and overlooks downtown Miami as an icon for years to come.