The project included restoration and adaptive use of an historic building. Because of the prominence of its site, the mandate was also the restoration of its public character. Unusual for a Miami building, the grand stair facing the street was exploited as a forecourt. The Center operates concurrently as an exhibition space, lecture venue, welcome center, continuing education center, conference center, community center for the design professions, design studio, archive and the offices of the Miami chapter of the American Institute of Architects.
Evolution of the building’s principal ground floor space; this tracks the rise and decline, and recent revival, of downtown as a civic center.
The first view of the new Center from the building lobby. A glass wall is framed to repeat the vault structure of the entrance bay.
The vaulted front bays of the Center create a multi-use area that can be subdivided for an exhibition (as shown here) or opened for events.
The AIA Miami offices wrap the main lecture/symposia area, and are configured to connect or disconnect from that space using a system of pivoting walls. A sculptural stair constructed of steel plates is the focal point of the Center, connecting the ground floor space to secondary functions on the upper floor.
The steel stair connects the ground floor with additional gallery, lecture and studio spaces on the second floor. The stair seems to float in a new 2-story atrium.
The second floor conference room is used for meetings, visiting studios, and small presentations.
ground floor plan
second floor plan
The Center is programmed for many types of activities.