Last week gallerist Gary Nader presented details of the new Latin American Art Museum he’s proposing, along with the big reveal of its location on Biscayne Boulevard, in an exhibition at his Wynwood gallery. Aside from a looping slideshow and model displaying renderings of both the proposed museum and future surrounding residential towers by FR-EE architects Fernando Romero Enterprise
For the last 15 years, Miami, USA, has experienced a boom, evident in an architectural explosion and other initiatives, such as Art Basel Miami, which has attracted an international audience to art shows since 2002. Another such initiative is the Latin American Art Museum (LAAM) which has been designed by FR-EE, an architecture firm located in Mexico City and New York. It is going to be situated within a residential complex, so it will work as the main access to the people living in the 111 apartments, which are going to be built at the location.
The idea behind this concept is to offer ‘aesthetical quality life’ with the museum becoming a meeting point for the residents and their visitors. With this in mind, FR-EE’s founder Fernando Romero has proposed a building generous in terraces and open spaces which will transfer the exterior context into the building.
The different levels of the building define LAAM’S program. The first floor will be reserved for young and emergent artists; the second one will be for temporal exhibitions; the third floor will house a selection of 600 pieces belonging to the permanent collection; finally, a restaurant will crown the top of the building.
LAAM will not only be a flexible platform for the promotion of Latin American modern and contemporary art, but also its best ambassador in Miami: a venue where young and emerging artists will find an appropriate atmosphere, where tourists and locals will be able to discover the new artistic proposals and where the fans will have the chance of discovering one of the most ambitious collections of Latin American art. The aim is to transform LAAM into the most significant institution for displaying this art in America. It will be completely focused on promoting its knowledge through a continuous process of appreciation and reinterpretation of Latin American art and its diaspora.
The model provides a great sense of scale and more accurately depicts the rather large ground level plaza—a true “public” plaza that would ideally activate Biscayne Boulevard in a way no other building currently does (outdoor seating for the museum cafe, permanent and rotating public art installations, and hopefully more trees). —Intended for the site. The model also does a great job of expressing the vertical screen system used throughout the building, which seems to play with pattern density in order to control daylight, as well as views from the exterior.
The terraces of the different floors can indeed be called “sculptural gardens”, since they will contain the art pieces in the open air. This will emphasise the benefits of the tropical architecture, such as natural air circulation, access to open spaces, foliage and the presence of the sea and the sun. The terraces will also spark off the curiosity of the neighbours and the pedestrians strolling in Biscayne Boulevard, so it will also work as an invitation to visit the museum.
According to a video released by FR-EE, the museum itself is a play on the compression of a single mass, and its subsequent expansion through terraces that twist slightly at each level. The first level would house a museum shop and cafe, as well as an exhibition space for young emerging artists. The second level would house temporary exhibitions, and the permanent collections would be on the third. A restaurant would be located on the fourth level overlooking Museum Park, the arena, Bayfront Park, and Biscayne Bay beyond, assuming SkyRise Miami doesn’t block the view.
According to The Next Miami, the 90,000 SF museum is scheduled to open sometime in 2016 at a cost of $50 million, with the 300-unit residential towers following after (according to FR-EE, the towers will have only 111 units, although this is likely still in the early stages of planning, and 111 does seem like quite a low number for two huge towers). Aside from a few “this could be anywhere” interior and balcony renderings, unfortunately there wasn’t much information on the towers (even the model is completely generic). Sketches sent in by a Curbed reader, however, do appear to show how the placement of the public plaza and museum towards the street, with the towers set behind, would preserve the all-important vistas of the Freedom Tower next door.