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Architect Wesley Kean of KoDA, Shares His Big Idea That Might Change The World With Authority Magazine

Big ideas are hard to come by, especially ones that have the potential to change the world.

KoDA architects and designers are experts in connecting architecture with nature and finding radical solutions to sea-level rise and other environmental concerns. KoDA’s Principal and Founder Wesley Kean believes that the use of Metabolist principles can change the narrative on sea level rise from one of fear to one of opportunity. This design approach is the award-winning architect’s “Big Idea That Might Change The World In The Next Few Years.”

As a part of my series about “Big Ideas That Might Change The World In The Next Few Years” I had the pleasure of interviewing Wesley Kean. Wesley is an architect, Principal & Founder of Miami Beach-based KoDA.

Thank you so much for joining us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?

I found my passion for architecture at a young age in the Lakes Region of New Hampshire where I grew up. I learned the tools of the trade from my father, a builder and carpenter, who remains a key influence in my work today. My father used to say, “measure twice, cut once!” and I apply the same philosophy to design today. I measure using analysis of site, program, and culture and evolve the ideas into architecture. In my opinion, skipping past the measuring phase would yield a completely meaningless architecture. While studying architecture, I learned that it was more than a construction and development industry, but that it can actually impact lives on a broader scale. I’ve understood the weight of responsibility that comes with design and its impact on our communities. The fact that ideas have the power to change the world, is what gets me up and excited to go to work every day.

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you began your career?

My firm KoDA was asked to design a project in a very controversial location in Miami. Controversial because of its location within a public park, which carried with it political, environmental, historical and cultural pressure. We approached the design first by evaluating the viewpoints of each of these individual stakeholders and then re-built the design concept up from there. The result became an iconic symbol for the city in which the Mayor came to the City Commission meeting to personally speak on behalf of the project calling it “iconic” for the City. It was very inspiring to see the profound positive impact an idea about a structure can have on a community.

Can you tell us about your “Big Idea That Might Change The World”?

There has been some recent momentum on the discussion of sea level rise in the world. More often than not, however, the conversation turns apocalyptic very quickly. After all, this is an overwhelming subject and one with myriad physical, emotional and political challenges that force many to avoid the topic altogether. Most of the discourse among architects, planners and stakeholders revolves around ideas about sustainability and resiliency. However, we need to also be thinking about transformation, adaptation and preservation.

Read the full interview on Authority Magazine.

MiMo Bay Apartments Designed by Stantec is Underway in Miami’s Upper Eastside

MiMo Bay Apartments is a waterfront community that will feature  236 units and a new 15,000 square-foot American Legion Post facility for military veteran members. Stantec’s design vision is to pay homage to the surrounding neighborhood and its Miami Modern architecture and to establish a connection between Biscayne Bay and the Legion Memorial Park.

Asia Capital Real Estate Management (ACRE) and Global City Development have started construction on MiMo Bay Apartments on Miami’s Upper East Side. The 236-unit mixed-use waterfront community is a joint venture between ACRE and a large Canadian Pension Fund.

The five-story building will be constructed on a 3.5-acre parcel formerly occupied by the building of the American Legion Post No. 29, which was demolished back in 2016—shortly after the Canadian pension fund acquired the asset for nearly $4 million, according to The Real Deal. That site is adjacent to Legion Memorial Park at 6445 N.E. 7th Ave. in the coveted Miami Modern (MiMo) District.

To read more on this unique and exciting project, visit Multi-Housing News.

Choeff Levy Fischman Design Available for $25M Featured on Forbes

https-blogs-images-forbes-com-amydobson-files-2019-02-bal-bay-drive-exterior-1200x798Imagine living in a brand-new, tri-level waterfront home with an open-concept floor plan, plenty of room for entertaining, and floor-to-ceiling expansive sliding glass doors with curtain wall windows to complete indoor-outdoor resort-style living. As featured on Forbes this month, take a tour of this newly listed dream home designed by award-winning architects at Choeff Levy Fischman!

There’s a new home overlooking Biscayne Bay that could become the highest priced single-family home in Bal Harbour if it sells for its $24.95 million asking price. Designed by team Choeff Levy Fischman—the same architects behind the ‘floating’ home of a certain famous rapper—this 8-bedroom, 9-bath house makes use of a similar architectural approach so that the whole home feels like it is floating both indoors and out. Bal Harbour is at the very northern tip of Miami Beach and has some of the highest priced real estate for the area.

To read more on this “floating” home visit Forbes.

Wesley Kean Tells Indulge The Story Behind His Latest KoDA Design, Apizza Brooklyn

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Photo By: Nick Garcia

Award-winning architecture and design firm, KoDA, practices design with ambition for its clients  and optimism for the world. Led by Principal and Founder Wesley Kean, he uses analysis and research to inform create the design of distinctive buildings, landscapes, interiors and experiences.

One of KoDA’s recent projects, the new Apizza Brooklyn restaurant in Coral Gables, is perhaps a perfect illustration of the firm’s research-based design process. Kean and his associates took on quite a bit of in-depth analysis, diving deep into the company’s brand and figuring out how the firm could communicate that vision through spatial configurations, materials and menu design. KoDA even read the restaurant’s online reviews.

“This process allowed us to distill the brand down to its essence, and build and evolve it back into the space,” Kean said.

Their findings led them straight to a familiar icon.

“The brand is very tied to New York, so we spent a lot of time evaluating the city,” Kean said. “The instinct is to jump to subway tile or brick, but we took a step back and asked ourselves, ‘What’s truly synonymous with New York?’ And we just knew we had to go with a scaffolding concept.”

To read more on Kean and his process of design, visit INDULGE Miami.

Stantec Provides Integrated Architecture, Interior Design and Engineering Services for New YOTELPAD Miami

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Global design and engineering firm Stantec celebrated the ground breaking of the new YOTELPAD Miami, the latest high-rise located in the heart of Miami’s downtown urban core. Stantec is providing all-inclusive architecture, interior design and engineering services to the 31-story hotel/condo project by developers Aria Development Group and joint venture partner, AQARAT real estate company.

YOTELPAD Miami is a new brand by YOTEL and the first on the East Coast, featuring 222 Yotel-branded “cabins” (hotel rooms), 231 “PADs” (condominiums) and amenities such as a Skytop lounge, pool deck with restaurant and bar, fitness center, co-working space and pet spa.

The hotel portion, located on floors 2-12, includes 222 cabins. The ground level will include separate lobbies for guests and residences, a restaurant, lounge, an organic matcha bar plus a co-working space, and meeting rooms on the second level. There is also smart lockers for package deliveries, as well as bike and individual storage units for residents on the premises.

The condo PADs, encompassing levels 15-30, will have exclusive amenities such as a 2,000 square-foot “Lounge in the clouds” with game area and chef’s kitchen.  The high-tech units include studios to one- and two-bedrooms and range in size from 417 square feet to 708 square feet with top-of-the-line flooring and lighting, floor-to-ceiling glass windows, custom European cabinetry and Smeg brand Italian appliances.

Stantec is a recognized global leader in architecture, design and engineering, ranked among the top 10 architecture firms by Architectural Record and top 10 global design firms by Engineering News-Record. The firm has designed numerous prominent projects throughout Florida, including Solitair Brickell; Luma at Miami Worldcenter; Midtown 8 in Midtown Miami; 17 West in Miami Beach; and Park-Line in Miami and West Palm Beach.

YOTELPAD Miami is scheduled for completion in early 2021.

KoDA-Designed Armazem Showroom Celebrates Grand Opening

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Armazem Design, located in the DCOTA building in Dania Beach, celebrated the opening of their new showroom on January 17th.  Designed by architecture and design firm KoDA, the 6,000 square foot space leaves behind conventional showroom designs and creates an environment where customers feel at home. Armazem offers high-end home décor items, furniture and architectural products such as Bontempo, Itaca, Foscarini, Schuster and Adielle.

KoDA used subtle materials such as polished concrete and white museum-like walls to create a canvas for Armazem’s rich furniture and millwork. Texture was achieved through the use of light and shadow and pops of color highlight accents within the space. In addition to showcasing products, the new showroom also serves as an office space with glass-cubed conference rooms reserved for interactive and comprehensive design workshops.

Miami Hospitality Design Awards Announces 2019 Call for Entries

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The American Institute of Architects Miami Chapter, the Greater Miami & The Beaches Hotel Association and Oberhausen Marketing & Public Relations has announced its call for entries for the 2019 Miami Hospitality Design Awards. Project owners and licensed architects and designers with hospitality projects in Miami-Dade County are invited to register through Jan. 25, 2019, but please note that a license architect must be a part of the team. Submission uploads will be due by Feb. 22, 2019.

Categories for the 2019 awards include hotels, restaurants, nightclubs, lounges and bars, and for the first time this year, food halls are welcome to submit and be recognized as well.

The awards will take place on April 3, 2019 at The Miami EDITION hotel. To enter, and for more information on the award categories and criteria, please visit www.miamidesignawards.com

KoDA Integrates NYC’s Sidewalk Scaffolding Concept into New Apizza Brooklyn Restaurant in Miami

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The industrial New York City look was the inspiration for KoDA’s design of Apizza Brooklyn’s newest Miami location. The goal was to make the space innovative, creative and family friendly with more seating, brick, concrete, wood, and metal details.

KoDA recently completed the design of the new, 3,033 square foot Apizza Brooklyn restaurant, which just opened in Miami’s Coral Gables neighborhood. The space features an 80-person dining area, pizza bar, wine bar and wine cellar.

The interiors of the space were inspired by the scaffoldings seen throughout the ever-evolving New York City streets. This industrial element made usually of wooden planks and metal poles has become synonymous with the architectural experience of the city. KoDA implemented repurposed scaffolding throughout the space and turned it into a functional, yet alluring design detail for displaying carefully curated ingredients used in the kitchen and for providing additional storage space.

To read more and see photos check out the story in Dexigner.

Rap Star Lil Wayne Buys Choeff Levy Fischman Design for $17M

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One of Choeff Levy Fischman’s Tropical Modern luxury homes has caught the attention of another celebrity seeking an indoor-outdoor lifestyle. Lil Wayne recently purchased an Allison Island residence for almost $17 million. The Grammy Award-winning rapper is privy to Choeff Levy Fischman’s designs. His previous waterfront residence on La Gorce Circle was also designed by the award-winning architects.

The rapper’s new home sits right in the middle of the waterway leading to Biscayne Bay and the ocean. It features an atrium, living walls, and numerous water features.

The entire design for this home is to make it feel as though it is floating on water.
It begins with the pond that feels like a moat you have to cross to get to the front door—across slab steps that appear to rise up from the blue depths—and once indoors the moveable walls make it hard to tell where the outdoors starts and the indoors end. The seven-bedroom, ten-bathroom house, which sold for $16.75 million, is 10,472 square feet with 110 feet of water frontage. The picture above is a close up of the backyard to orient you into the ways of the floating concept the architect was going for.

To read more details on the home and see photos, read Forbes most recent feature here.

Choeff Levy Fischman is featured on PROFILE Miami

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Award-winning architecture and design firm Choeff Levy Fischman has completed another home on Miami Beach’s star-studded North Bay Road. The highly sought-after architects known for designing ultra-luxury single-family residences for the rich and famous have created a residential oasis for the ultimate indoor-outdoor living experience. The fully-furnished manse is on the market for $32M.

Miami Beach’s newest mega-mansion has been unveiled by EWM Realty International top-producer and Senior Vice President Nelson Gonzalez and designed by Choeff Levy Fischman, offering the ultimate in waterfront living and year-round entertainment.

“This is one of the most notable residences to enter Miami Beach’s prime real estate market,” said Gonzalez. “The attention to detail and expert craftsmanship within the estate is unparalleled, complemented by some of the best water views South Florida has to offer. The level of privacy and the number of high-end amenities being presented here cannot be overstated.”

Priced at $32 million, the residence comprises an eight-bedroom eight-bath main house, a four-bedroom four-bath guesthouse, and a cabana house. The ultra-luxe modern home was designed to blend the outdoors with inside with floor-to-ceiling glass sliding walls. The mansion is spread over 13,381 SF with 2,700 SF of covered outdoor space and a 3,000 SF rooftop deck which offers sweeping panoramas of Biscayne Bay and sunsets over the water.

 

To read more on this turnkey-ready home, visit PROFILE Miami’s online feature.