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Susan Smith
Susan Smith
Susan Smith has worked as an editor and writer in the technology industry for over 16 years. As an editor she has been responsible for the launch of a number of technology trade publications, both in print and online. Currently, Susan is the Editor of GISCafe and AECCafe, as well as those sites’ … More »

Montclair Condominium Complex, Miami, Florida, by OPPENHEIM Architecture+Design

February 27th, 2011 by Susan Smith

Existing at the intersection of civic, commercial, and residential activity, the 65,000 square foot Montclair condominium complex project by OPPENHEIM Architecture+Design located in Miami Beach was the result of a process of contextual sampling subject to the restrictions of an exaggerated historic preservation agenda and municipal zoning constraints. Confronted with 2 lots that straddle a nondescript, but sacred Post-war apartment building, the massing of the complex is derived from the collusion of abstract reference and the mundane. Financial objectives– the maximization of saleable area and idealized unit/parking correlations are kept in check with sensitivity towards the maintenance of the surrounding urban fabric.

Montclair condominium complex

Fast Facts: Architect: OPPENHEIM Architecture+Design

Location: Miami, Florida

Project: Montclair

Scope:  65,000 SF condominium complex. Architecture/Interior finishes

Location:         South Beach, Miami Beach, Florida

A dramatic entry sequence– emphasizes differentiations is time-subtly sequencing from old to new. Upon passing through the original front doors of the apartment building, one is confronted by a curvaceous, ramping portal, which leads to a lobby in which glass elevators pierce a glass ceiling It is this interstitial zone, which organizes the project in multiple dimensions simultaneously. Clarity in plan and section create efficiencies that permit internal, open-air boulevards of ample width-establishing moments for communal interaction. Forty units, some newly created and some carved from the existing structure, are configured to provide an open plan and dual exterior exposures-allowing for abundant light/air and ultimate owner flexibility.

Montclair apartment complex

Organized and connected by the vertical and horizontal circulation systems– four distinct structures of various, yet similar architectural articulations, relate to each other while simultaneously referencing their contextual partners of distinct typologies and time frames. Materials and methods-sampled and simplified from the surrounding buildings provide an elemental palette. Aluminum screens of various proportion and transparency, envelope the project in distinct patterns-establishing an ephemeral mass that filters and reflects view and light– both inside and out, distorts scale, and abstractly alludes to forms in the surrounding historical district. A rough, Keystone base, mined from local earth contrasts the precision of the mostly glass, aluminum and stucco building. The materiality of the project transforms according to stimuli of its situation.

Montclair apartment complex before addition

The new 5-story structures wrap around the existing 2-story apartment building creating an open court in the sky. A pleasure garden with an edgeless pool, situated on top of the historic structure, serves as the main public space of the project-creating a luscious playground for its inhabitants while defining a soft allusion to a civic plaza in which the space confronts across the street. Private, enclosed, roof-top pavilions provide a sacred space open to the sky for meditation and reflection.

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