At Miami’s Coconut Grove, OMA Designs Luxe Residences Around Views and Landscaping

“This area had its own culture and history and feelings, different from what people think typical Miami would be," says OMA partner Shohei Shigematsu. "That taught us to respect the experience of Coconut Grove, and the integration of living and nature.”
Park Grove OMA miami

OMA’s Park Grove in Miami is defined by its buildings’ sinuous envelopes that provide shading, privacy, and framed views. The development’s constituent buildings share some spaces, like a pool and landscaped areas. Courtesy Robin Hill


In the original scheme for Park Grove, a development in Miami’s Coconut Grove neighborhood, OMA foregrounded flows and dispersion. The plan imagined six towers occupying the property, the spaces between them lending views of the ocean. One of the site’s greatest assets is its waterfront connection, on the edge of Biscayne Bay, a feature exploited by many of the area’s developers. The trend had resulted in a veritable wall of rectilinear buildings that offered maximum frontage for tower residents, while blocking views for everyone else.

But maybe six towers was a little too dispersed, says Shohei Shigematsu, the partner in charge of OMA New York, which led the project. “And of course it’s not economical to have such a floor-to-facade ratio.” So the six towers were dialed back to three, but OMA preserved the design’s structural conceit: two pairs of conjoined, cylindrical building forms that maintain their respective cores—a process Shigematsu describes as reverse mitosis. (The third tower, set to open later this year, occurs pre–cellular split, has one core, and is more elliptical in plan.) The structures’ exterior concrete columns and dual cores support post-tensioned concrete floor slabs, forming a robust structure meant to withstand the bay’s lateral winds. “The shape of our tower could be a little more soft and organic, so it looks almost part of the landscape around this area,” Shigematsu says, contrasting his construction with more angular ones nearby.

The residences boast ample balconies, deep enough to shade the inboard floor-to-ceiling glazing of the units. Inside, living and dining spaces follow an open plan that maximizes outward views, while non–load-bearing partitions enclose bedrooms and bathrooms. “The divisions are a little bit looser,” Shigematsu explains. “You can walk around the perimeter and really enjoy the experience of the panoramic shape.”

Park Grove’s exterior columns—which are clad in a limestone stucco called Thermocromex—taper and expand, producing a vertical rippling effect. The wavelike columns also inspire a slight sense of destabilization, like palm trees bending away from true verticality. “We designed it to have this undulation,” Shigematsu says. “We thought the instability of the profile also contributes a more organic feel.”

Park Grove OMA miami

Landscape plays an important role in the project which encompasses several outdoor areas and amphitheaters. Maintaining porosity and bay access for neighbors was a priority for OMA. Courtesy Robin Hill


That’s where the appeal of OMA’s imagining of the site comes in: By populating it with fewer towers, the development preserves public views through the space between them; access through the site also leads visitors to a sculpture park. A raised plinth that connects all three towers at their bases contains parking and lobbies, as well as shared residential amenities such as a screening room and fitness center. But the biggest public asset is the plinth’s landscape by Enzo Enea, which covers the parking and retail spaces with a lush blanket of greenery, amphitheaters, and sculpture that bring visitors to the water’s edge.

“The client was very much focused on the identity of Coconut Grove rather than the identity of Miami,” Shigematsu recalls. “This area had its own culture and history and feelings, different from what people think typical Miami would be. That taught us to respect the experience of Coconut Grove, and the integration of living and nature.”

That’s where the appeal of OMA’s imagining of the site comes in: By populating it with fewer towers, the development preserves public views through the space between them; access through the site also leads visitors to a sculpture park. A raised plinth that connects all three towers at their bases contains parking and lobbies, as well as shared residential amenities such as a screening room and fitness center. But the biggest public asset is the plinth’s landscape by Enzo Enea, which covers the parking and retail spaces with a lush blanket of greenery, amphitheaters, and sculpture that bring visitors to the water’s edge.

“The client was very much focused on the identity of Coconut Grove rather than the identity of Miami,” Shigematsu recalls. “This area had its own culture and history and feelings, different from what people think typical Miami would be. That taught us to respect the experience of Coconut Grove, and the integration of living and nature.”

PROJECT CREDITS
DEVELOPER: Terra Group and Related Group
ARCHITECT: OMA; partner-in-charge: Shohei Shigematsu
INTERIOR DESIGNER: Meyer Davis
MODEL RESIDENCE: Interiors by Steven G.
LANDSCAPE: Enzo Enea

SELECTED SOURCES
INTERIORS
BATH SURFACES: Dornbracht, Kohler
BATH FITTINGS: Aquabrass, Toto, Dornbracht
WALL FINISHES: Art Design InternationalPhillip Jeffries, Koroseal, Jacaranda, Plant the Future
FLOORING: Brastile, Cle Tile
FURNITURE: Stellar Works, Christian Woo, American Upholstery, Phillips Collection, Blaxsand, Black Tie
LIGHTING: O’Brien Lighting, South Dade Lighting, Bec Brittain, Apparatus, Allied Maker, Ludwig & Larsen, Rich Brilliant Willing, Gabriel Scott
TEXTILES: Tailor-Made Textiles, Corragio, JAB, Mokum, Opuzen, Perennials, Donghia
WASHERS AND DRYERS: Electrolux
KITCHENS: Sub-Zero, Wolf, Asko, Dornbracht

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Categories: Architecture