- Location Miami, FL
- Type Environments
- Completion 2013
One of numerous facades commissioned by the Miami Design District for an international roster of architects, this project plays with a relatively experimental material—Ductal concrete—to create an ultra-thin, semi-transparent façade configured as a screen for several retail shops along a pedestrian thoroughfare in what has become one of Miami’s premier cultural neighborhoods.
Taking advantage of the fully plastic quality of this high-strength, internally reinforced cast concrete, the façade follows a slight series of curves with openings that temper light penetrating the interior during the day and allow the screen to glow at night. The apertures follow a gradient that increase the transparency of the facade as one ascends the building. The edge of each aperture is pushed and pulled slightly out of plane, blurring the perimeter of each opening to generate unique shadow patterns along the surface of the building. The façade provides high-performing shading while developing a building envelope with depth, generating openness and connection while protecting the interior.
The project was completed with a design assist with fabricator and the global Swiss-based building material manufacturer Lafargeholcim. Laufs Engineering Design, a structural engineer consultancy specializing in facades with offices in Berlin and New York City, contributed to the development of the composite characteristics of the curving façade.
Achieving a balance of fabric-like qualities appropriate to fashion, structural lightness and environmental performance, the project utilizes a high-tech material to test new geometric forms.