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33rd annual Festival of the Trees

Each year South Florida’s architecture and design community demonstrates its support for interior architecture education through their annual participation in Festival of the Trees, a fundraising event coordinated by Florida International University’s Interior Architecture Department.

Over the past 32 years, this annual holiday event has raised over $350,000 in funds that benefit FIU’s Interior Architecture Department and its students.

Sponsors underwrite designers who design and build unique holiday creations and donate them to the event. The “trees” are then displayed and auctioned at the gala opening. Winning bidders take these extraordinary creations home and get to show them off throughout the year.

Our President, Josh Oberhausen was selected as a judge at this year’s event, along with Hilda Altimari, Art Director of Dacra Miami Design District; Martin Amado, TV Personality; Massimo Casagrande, Director of Education at Marangoni Miami; and Liana Guilarte, Group Publisher for Modern Luxury. The event took place Thursday, November 21st, at The Moore Building in the Miami Design District.

Congratulations to the winners of the 33rd annual Festival of the Trees:

Most Colorful: “Candela” by AECOM

Most Animated: “It’s All Relative” by Nichols Brosch Wurst Wolfe & Associates, Inc.

Most Progressive: “Respirations” by FIU RDF Lab

Most Sustainable: “Cross-Cultural Headgear” by TSAO Design Group

Most Creative: “Layers Through Time” by G. Alvarez Studio, Inc.

Most Elegant: “Glitz” by HKS Architects, Inc.

Most Whimsical: “Hold My Memphis” by CallisonRTKL

Most Illuminating: “Depths of Deco” by Gresham, Smith, & Partners

Most Thematic: “Games Archiving Games” by OBM International

Honorable Mention (Creative): “Carousel Through Time” by Cube 3

Honorable Mention (Thematic): “Vessel” by Stantec

Honorable Mention (Colorful): “Copasetic” by Zyscovich Architects

ICA Miami & Stantec Presented Climate Change, Art, and Architecture Panel Discussion

On Thursday, October 10th, ICA Miami in collaboration with Stantec hosted a discussion panel on Climate Change, Art, and Architecture. The event took place at the Miami Design District Palm Court.

Continuing ICA Miami’s dedication to understanding urgent environmental issues, this panel explored how anthropogenic effects apply pressure to architectural design and cultural production. It was led by renowned architectural critic Beth Dunlop. Panelists included John Malueg, manager of Stantec’s resiliency program; David Rifkind, interim chair of the Department of Landscape Architecture + Environmental and Urban Design at Florida International University; Elizabeth Wheaton, City of Miami Beach’s Director of the Environment & Sustainability Department; and Xavier Cortada, environmental artists and Professor of Practice at the University of Miami.  The panel also explored the concept of resiliency and the role of architects and artists in mitigating cultural, social, and environmental degradation.

OBR Participates in 3rd Annual Drink Miami Hostel at the Freehand Miami Beach

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Josh and Aimet Oberhausen, co-founders of the Miami Hospitality Design Awards and judges of the 3rd Annual Drink Miami Hostel, selected Zacapa Rum as the “Best Themed Room.”

Zacapa’s design was intended to make you feel as if you were floating in the clouds of the Guatemala mountains. Cloud-like elements hung from the ceiling & mist surrounded the room as guests sipped on the “Al Cielo” signature cocktail, which means “to the sky.”

Organizers Gabriel Urrutia, Giovanny Gutierrez, and Matt Hirsch, transformed the Freehand into a virtual drinking tour showcasing the best brands, bartenders, and trendsetting cocktails.

As guests traveled through more than 20 experiences throughout the hostel’s rooms and common areas, they sipped on spirits from around the world and got their “passport” stamped. Guests also had the opportunity to learn more about their favorite cocktails through one-on-one interactions with brand ambassadors and bartenders.

McKENZIE Renovates Historical Overtown Building into New Co-working Space

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McKENZIE has completed the renovation of the historical New Providence Lodge building in Overtown into Tribe Urban Innovation Lab and Cowork, a multi-use, co-working space that will focus on serving local, African American youth and the South Florida entrepreneur community.

McKENZIE’s design creates a flexible workspace that contains design elements that are in tune with the evolving workplace and the needs of today’s entrepreneurial workforce.

Owned by Felecia Hatcher and Derick Pearson, both successful entrepreneurs working to provide opportunities for African Americans to thrive in the tech industry, Tribe will house Code Fever and BlackTech Week, two nonprofits founded by Hatcher and Pearson that help build and diversify startup ecosystems and support African American entrepreneurs, as well as several black-owned businesses.

McKenzie, a boutique design, build, and custom fabrication firm recently completed the renovation of the two-story, 3,700-sf New Providence Lodge building in the Overtown neighborhood of Miami.

The building, which once housed a Freemason chapter during the Jim Crow era, is now the Tribe Urban Innovation Lab and Cowork, a multi-use, co-working space with a maker lab, classrooms, and collaborative event and hangout spaces. The idea is for the new space to primarily serve local, African-American youth.

Many of the building’s original features were preserved, such as the original wood ceiling and steel beams. These restored historical elements add a visual contrast to the collaborative workspace’s clean and modern finishes.

To read the full story, visit Building Design + Construction.