Peek-a-Boo Building

Miami Beach, Florida | unbuilt

This urban infill project incorporates the restoration of two street-level corner retail buildings with the addition of two levels. The building peers over the historic fabric of an urban neighborhood. The aerial windows of its top level, designed as a sort of floating jewel box, invite the curiosity of passersby. The addition’s angular geometry violates the regularity of its surrounding district of Mediterranean Revival commercial storefronts, but not disrespectfully.

The project comprises four layers:

- Old bungalow: Although architecturally unremarkable, the 1921 bungalow was the first structure on the site. Most likely moved from another site, it sat on the alley. It will be moved to a more visible location on Miami Beach.

- 1920s era Mediterranean Revival storefronts: The new project begins with a detailed restoration of existing commercial buildings, including rehabilitative stucco work and new windows.

- Vertical Retail: A new addition grows above and behind the historic façade, refraining from architectural complexity so as not to distract from the original facade. The block is angled and set back to conform to line-of-sight requirements.

- Jewel Box: This glazed room adds a third floor to the project, floating over the recessed mass below. It faces west and south, and thrusts horizontally towards the intersection, playing peek-a-boo with pedestrians.

The design of this project addresses the tremendous scale offsets between the district’s historic one-story retail buildings and the proliferation of new five-story commercial buildings to the south and north.


2011 AIA Florida Honor Award


© 2018 Shulman + Associates