MIAMI – A residential high-rise in Coconut Grove, the oldest and greenest neighbourhood in Miami, is the first to be built for over a decade. Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG), in collaboration with local practice NBWW, is responsible for Grove At Grand Bay – the two 20-storey luxury apartment towers that overlook the Florida coastline.
The twisted design of the condominium duo is a reaction to a diagramming process in which the orientation of the apartments is adjusted at each level. The key is that the two towers are formed in such a way that they are not obstructing the panoramic views of the surrounding area from one another. Each floor plate – between the third and seventeenth floors – rotates 90 cm past its predecessor and the resulting cantilevered concrete balconies act as brise-soleil to provide sun-shading for the floor-to-ceiling glazing on each level.
The striking corkscrew structures are anticipated to open the flood-gates for an influx of luxurious and contemporary design in the area. Real estate development firm Terra – accountable for the Coconut Grove expansion concept – personifies the towers as ‘turning to capture the spectacular 360-degree panorama of the Miami waterfront as they rise to the sky’. The side-by-side alignment of the towers ‘allows for additional views up and down SW 27th Avenue’ – an intention by the architect to open up the lines of sight in all directions, giving the residents of each apartment the impression that it is the only building for kilometres around.
Grove at Grand Bay is easily recognisable as a Bjarke Ingels Group design; the twisting curves identify with a multitude of other projects by the studio, including this year’s Serpentine Pavilion installation in London. In typical BIG style, the sculpturesque nature of the architecture makes you want to climb all over it – although, at 20-storeys high, this is not a recommendation to ‘try this at home’.