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OBR’s Favorite Miami Buildings

Though Miami is known for its pastel-colored hotels on South Beach, its architecture is defined by a number of contrasting styles. Architects and developers have been transforming Miami’s cityscape into one of the new architectural capitals of America. From a contemporary luxury high-rise to a historical Spanish hotel, we’ve curated a list of our top 5 most iconic buildings.

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The Biltmore Hotel

The Biltmore Hotel was built in 1926 by hotel magnate John McEntee Bowman and land developer George Merrick, who combined his deep affection for lush South Florida landscape with a high regard for Italian, Moorish and Spanish architectural influences to create this architectural gem. The Biltmore Hotel was initially the tallest building in Florida at 315 feet and, today, its 23,000 square-foot pool is one of the largest hotel pools in the continental United States. The Biltmore’s rich history makes it Coral Gables’ most preeminent historic landmark.

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1111 Lincoln

The iconic garage on the west end of Lincoln Road was designed by world-renowned architects Herzog & de Meuron. The open-air structure rises seven stories and includes office space, retail, parking spaces and a mysterious rooftop penthouse. The seventh floor of the garage is also where 1111 Vibe hosts Skywave Yoga on Monday evenings. The view from the top overlooks Lincoln Road, Alton Road and as far as the shores of Biscayne Bay.

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Solitair Brickell

Solitair Brickell, the latest luxury high-rise gracing Miami’s skyline, was recently completed by global architecture and design firm Stantec. The design of the 50-story building distinguishes itself with a unique angular, towering basket-weave design inspired by the majestic Medjool date palm tree popular in South Florida’s tropical landscape. Developed by ZOM Living, Solitair Brickell includes 483 residential units, millennial-friendly amenities and one of the highest rooftop resort-style pools in Miami.

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New World Center

The New World Center is a concert hall in the heart of South Beach, home to the New World Symphony, a post-graduate orchestral academy. A collaboration between the symphony’s artistic director, 11-time Grammy award-winning conductor, Michael Tilson Thomas, and Pritzker Prize-winning architect Frank Gehry, the building features multiple flexible spaces, cutting-edge media equipment, six stories of natural light and views of the iconic Miami Beach Art Deco skyline. A new 2.5-acre public park designed by the firm West 8, features the New World Center’s SoundScape park where New World Symphony WALLCAST concerts are presented on the building’s 7,000-square-foot projection wall.

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One Thousand Museum

One Thousand Museum is a high-rise residential condominium under construction in Downtown Miami designed by the late Pritzker Prize-winning architect Zaha Hadid. When completed, the 62-story building is expected to rise over 700 feet, making it one of the tallest buildings in Miami. The design of the building distinguishes itself with the contrast between the robust exoskeleton and the crystalline glazing of the glass façade beneath it. Gregg Covin, Todd Michael Glaser, Louis Birdman, Kevin Venger, Gilberto Bomeny and Regalia Group are the developers.

Choeff Levy Fischman’s Hibiscus Island Gem Featured in Private Air

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The latest issue of Private Air Magazine features a recently completed Tropical Modern home in Miami Beach designed by Choeff Levy Fischman. Located on Hibiscus Island, the residence features Brazilian Oak wood floors, Calacatta marble accents and disappearing sliding glass doors that create a seamless transition between inside and out. With this property, Choeff Levy Fischman blended cutting-edge technology with custom millwork and high-quality finishings throughout the residence.

Known for their star-studded clientele, the inventive minds behind the award-winning Miami-based architectural firm, Choeff Levy Fischman, presents their new high-end Tropical Modern residence that offers the best of indoor-outdoor living where one can enjoy waterfront living, alfresco dining, fantastic city views, and much more.

Located on exclusive Hibiscus Island in Miami Beach, Florida, this jaw-dropping, waterfront contemporary residence boasts 6,000 sq. ft. of luxury overlooking the Miami skyline, with an impressive 80 feet of waterfront with private dockage for your yacht.

Meticulously designed by renowned architects Ralph Choeff & Paul Fischman, the two-story, five-bedroom, five and a half bath estate blends cutting-edge technology and the highest quality finishings in every room. Designed with disappearing sliding glass doors, one can seamlessly transition from indoors to the lush landscaped outdoors, enjoying all the residence has to offer.

The sexy modern fully-equipped chef ’s kitchen features exotic Italian millwork, Calacatta marble, and a designated bar made of stained Italian Oak with Sub-Zero wine coolers – one for red and one for whites. Soak in the bay views, from the floating master bedroom suite outfitted with Brazilian Oak wood floors, a spa-inspired master bath with large soaking tub, marble shower, balcony, and home office with unobstructed views.

Outside a 590 square foot pool sits beneath the suspended master. Across the floating steps, adjacent to the pool, lies a shallow wet lounge where homeowners can dip their feet, play with small children, or simply enjoy the sun. Colorful Brazilian Cumaru wood, lush foliage, including a Bamboo garden, adds life and color to the residence.

In addition to the home’s stunning design, architects included several sustainable features to help protect the home against Miami’s natural elements such as an onsite rainwater retention system, insulated glazing low-energy film on windows to minimize solar heat gain, glare and reduce energy costs, high Albedo roof membrane to reduce heating and cooling usage. The south facing waterfront home was created to resist hurricane winds, storm surges, and rising sea levels. At the time of the design, the seawall’s code requirements were 4.8 NGVD. However, this residence stands at 7.26 NGVD and sits 22 to 26 feet away from the seawall, allowing for additional barriers from storms.

“This home is unique because of its pie-shaped lot and connection to the open bay. We designed the residence to maximize waterfront views, while also creating a seamless transition between the interiors and exteriors with column-free, corner opening, sliding glass doors which disappear into pockets when opened,” notes Paul Fischman, principal at Choeff Levy Fischman.

 

Choeff Levy Fischman Design Lands Tropic Magazine Cover Story

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The latest issue of Tropic Magazine features a recently completed contemporary, waterfront home minutes away from Miami Beach designed by Choeff Levy Fischman. Located on Hibiscus Island, the residence features matte limestone floors, Cumaru wood and disappearing walls of glass that create a seamless transition between inside and out. With this property, Choeff Levy Fischman achieved an environmentally inspired, waterfront oasis that takes advantage of the natural aspects of its island location.

Turn north from the bustle of the MacArthur Causeway toward Palm Island and you enter an existence that might as well be half a continent away. Instead of the high-rises and cacophony that is South Beach, you cross a bridge into a world of twin islands, Palm and Hibiscus, dredged from nothing in the 1920s. These islands soon became home to both Al Capone and Lou Walters famous Latin Quarter nightclub. Boasting of one-road-on-and-off, these delicious bits of heaven have always attracted those who treasure Miami for its waterfront lifestyle. This held true for the first wave who built elegant, Mediterranean styled homes in the 1920s and still holds true today, although now, newcomers tend to prefer exceptional, contemporary homes.

One such home was recently completed under the watchful eye of its lead designer, Paul Fischman of Choeff Levy Fischman and might be best described as an environmentally inspired, waterfront sanctuary. At just under 6,000 square feet, the creation of this residence was no small feat, and always top of mind for Fischman was the home’s Hibiscus Island location. Materials such as matte limestone and Ipe wood appear again and again throughout the home. Lush, tropical foliage that surrounds the house seems to caress it at every turn, peeking in through windows by the kitchen or brushing up against a waterfall wall that splashes into the pool. This connection to nature is marvelous, but for us, what is of paramount importance about this home is its exceptional openness.

To attain this quality, Fischman specified stacking sliders for many rooms in the house, sliders that extend from floor to ceiling when closed, and hide away discreetly when opened. The entertaining rooms on the ground level face a courtyard in which a 590 square foot pool seems to slide out from under the shelter of the home’s sequestered courtyard. Upstairs, these same doors slide away in the master bedroom as well as the master bath, placing nothing between the home’s occupants and Biscayne Bay except for a warm breeze. These disappearing walls of glass create a seamless transition between inside and out, and the continuation of limestone flooring from inside to outside helps blur those lines as well.

On the main level, those covered patio accent walls sheathed in horizontal bands of Brazilian Cumaru wood act as the visual opposite to the board-formed concrete and stucco exterior. The swimming pool and separate shallow wading pool are separated by “floating” steps that lead out toward the bay. Here, the limestone platform ends, met by lawns that roll down toward the dock.

This house, of course, is outfitted with an energy efficient air conditioning system, but with the layout and connection to South Florida’s sub-tropical climate, the architect encourages owners – almost subliminally – to turn off the AC, open all the doors and revel in all that nature has to offer. The architect and his team pushed sustainability in this residence with features like a rainwater retention system that cleans and filters rainwater, storing it for use on the property. Low-E film was chosen to cover glazed surfaces, minimizing solar heat gain that in turn, reduces energy consumption. They’ve also installed a roof of high solar reflectivity, another way to minimize heat gain, always an issue in sun-drenched South Florida. In order to address sea level rise and potential storm surge, the home is lifted up on the site and set back over 20 feet from the dock and is protected by a sea wall almost three feet higher than what is currently required by code.

With this property, Fischman has succeeded in creating a sumptuous refuge literally minutes from the more urban aspects of Miami Beach, crafting a residence that takes great pleasure in the natural aspects of its island location. The island’s early 20th century developers would be proud.

Celebrity-Owned Choeff Levy Fischman Design Hits the Market

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Designed by Choeff Levy Fischman, Hibiscus Island’s Casa Ischia is on the market for $29.5 million. The waterfront mansion, owned by Former Formula 1 racer Eddie Irvine, features 7 bedrooms, 7 bathrooms and 2 powder rooms. For Irvine, the concept of indoor-outdoor living was of the utmost importance. Taking advantage of the panoramic views of Biscayne Bay and downtown Miami’s skyline, Ralph Choeff created an interaction between the interior spaces and outdoors. Choeff achieved a tropical-modern vibe by incorporating stained Ipe wood and South American stone throughout the interiors and exterior of the home.

Former Formula 1 racer Eddie Irvine has listed his Miami Beach waterfront mansion for $29.5 million—which means you should race to grab your checkbook before it gets snatched up. Designed by Choeff Levy Fischman, the two-story home—known as Casa Ischia—shows off a tropic aesthetic and modern architecture. Clean lines and sleek overhangs imbue the space with a bit of mid-century-modern appeal, while walls of glass look out to the waterfront and downtown Miami. Large slab-style steps lead across a water feature and into the sunlight-drenched home.

The 10,448-square-foot property features an open-concept layout with seven bedrooms, seven baths, and two powder rooms. Ipe wood and South-American stone give the resort-style residence an understated, inviting feel, and limestone interior walls add a unique warmth to the space. Structural elements were kept thin to maximize vistas of Biscayne Bay. Wood cabinets and a waterfall island star in the gourmet kitchen, while a posh living room with a wet bar makes it easy to entertain guests. The master suite has a second-story balcony overlooking the swimming pool and a glass-encased bath with a walk-in shower, double sinks, and a deep soaking tub. Expansive pocket sliding-glass doors run the length of the property, creating a seamless transition between indoors and out-of-doors.

To read the full story, visit Robb Report.

Tropical Modern Architecture Catches on in Vero Beach

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Paul Fischman, one of the three partners at the Miami-based, award-winning firm of Choeff Levy Fischman Architecture + Design, was commissioned by Peter Fine of To Better Days Development to design a custom spec home. Located in one of Miami Beach’s most prestigious neighborhoods, the tropical modern mansion was designed with warm, natural materials and an open layout for indoor-outdoor entertaining. Read more about the home featured in Vero Beach Magazine’s Winter 2018 Tropical Homes edition below.

When Peter Fine of To Better Days Development commissioned architect Paul Fischman to design a custom spec house, he had a particular vision in mind. In 2013, Fine had purchased a 28,000-square-foot lot on Biscayne Bay, located in one of Miami Beach’s most prestigious neighborhoods. “North Bay Road has always been one of the most sought-after addresses and was crowned ‘Millionaires Row’ for a reason,” says the company’s executive vice president and project manager, Joshua Young. “It is no coincidence that Miami Beach pioneer and developer Carl Fisher placed his estate on this street.”

The impressive mansions and elegant estates that grace this community routinely attract a who’s who of celebrities, athletes, musicians and industry moguls, all lured by the tropics and Miami’s international cachet. Mere blocks from the vibrant happenings of South Beach and the historical Art Deco district of Ocean Drive, the area’s attractions are many – boating, golfing, shopping and exquisite wining and dining are all just a stone’s throw away.

Architectural styles in this exclusive community run the gamut from Mediterranean revival to Italianate to mid-century modern, but Fine’s vision was clear: He wanted Fischman to design a luxurious, contemporary tropical home constructed of warm, natural materials with clean lines, a modern and open layout and spaces for indoor-outdoor entertaining. He wanted a home that exuded an experiential quality, built with materials and methods that echoed the environment and brought the outside in.

Fischman was up to the task. He is one of three partners in the Miami-based, award-winning from of Choeff Levy Fischman Architecture and Design. With a master’s degree in architecture from University of Miami and a bachelor’s in environmental design from the University of Colorado, he was a perfect fit for the project.

“Environmental design accounts for macro of microclimate, where you’re responding to the environmental features,” Fischman says. Fine’s directive informed his decision to focus on maximizing the natural light while creating a direct connectivity to the tropical environment.

Walking the lot, Fischman and partner Ralph Choeff studied the landscape, the angle and direction of light, and the architectural configuration needed to maximize the panoramic views of the bays and beyond. Fischman says that by extending a leg of the structure out proud of the main residence, they were able to create unobstructed views of Biscayne Bay and downtown Miami from the family room and second-level master bedroom suites. And the utilization of the new technology for column-free spans of floor-to-ceiling glass allowed for a seamless, open-concept design that forged a direct connection to the tropical topography. “The way I designed this home is that there are pockets everywhere that can be opened up to the outside and nature,” he says. “The view literally drove every aspect of this home.”

Read the full story on Choeff Levy Fischman’s site.

Choeff Levy Fischman Makes a Splash in Luxury Pool Magazine

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Choeff Levy Fischman‘s unique approach to home and outdoor living designs made a splash in Luxury Pools + Outdoor Living Magazine’s 2017 Fall/Winter issue. The Choeff Levy Fischman team received recognition as a 2017 Pinnacle Awards winner recognizing some the year’s best in pool and outdoor living designs, principal Paul Fischman discusses designing outside the lines, and founding principal Ralph Choeff, explains how his expert architectural team combines modern architecture and tropical elements to create a shorefront splendor.

Overlooking Biscayne Bay, this residential property in Miami Beach, Florida, embodies mid-century modern architecture and tropical modernism, which is carried throughout the home and outdoor living areas. With a cohesive and masterful design, the expert architectural team at Choeff Levy Fischman, along with Christopher Cawley Landscape Architecture, brought this contemporary tropical oasis to life.

“Of the utmost importance was the concept of indoor-outdoor living,” says Ralph Choeff, founding principal at Choeff Levy Fischman. To accomplish this, the entire rear façade was designed with vast sliding glass doors, blurring the line between indoors and outdoors and maximizing the bay views from almost any room in the house.

“The pool and water features were strategically positioned to interact with the interior spaces,” adds Choeff. “The pool steps and integrated spa face downtown Miami and are positioned directly in front of the interior living room lounge. This setup allows the homeowner and guests to enjoying breathtaking views of the city while relaxing indoors or outside in the pool or spa.”

Incorporating natural waterscapes was a key element to the entire design. “We bring the water theme into play right from the beginning,” says Choeff. For the approach to the main entry, stone steps over reflecting ponds give the feeling of walking on water, he explains.

At night, the city and surrounding elements light up, creating a dramatic and enchanting effect as the lights in the reflecting ponds project upward and interact with the architecture of the home. In the evening, pool lighting enhances the blue tile, giving the pool an almost purplish hue.

The outdoor living spaces include multiple gathering areas around the pool, including a sunken outdoor living room with a mid-century style fire pit and a cabana containing a large outdoor kitchen and dining area. “The entire experience, combined with the indoor/outdoor layout of the residence, gives the outdoor entertaining spaces a resort-like feel,” comments Choeff.

Stained ipe wood establishes a warm yet somewhat monochromatic style while limestone decking contrasts with the iridescent blue tile used in the pool and spa. “This sets the pool apart,” says Choeff, “especially the aboveground areas that form the infinity edges.”