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The Miami Beach Chamber of Commerce 7th Annual City National Bank Better Beach Awards Winners

The Better Beach Awards honors the people, projects, and places that make Miami Beach a better place. Talented architects and designers are recognized for their work in preserving historical properties and designing innovative commercial and residential spaces. This year our clients Choeff Levy Fischman, KoDA, and Stantec were recipients of these awards.

Choeff Levy Fischman won Silver for Historic Preservation of their 27 Star Island project. The original structures were built during 1924 and 1926. CLF and the current owner worked very closely with the City of Miami Beach for several years to develop a plan to preserve and restore the historic structures, while allowing for a sizable development site for a new residence on the east end of the property. In an effort to preserve the historic home, the owner elected to demolish all non-historic additions, and physically relocate the historic structures to another area of the site, where they will be remediated and restored.

Wesley Kean, Principal and Founder of KoDA, won “Next Gen” Gold Award along with an Innovation Architecture/Residential Gold award for Meridian Court Residence. The house was designed to maximize outdoor space, while honoring the programmatic requirements of the family. It is comprised of a sequence of interior and exterior, public and private spaces that reveal themselves as one progresses through the site. By utilizing warm materials and referencing local and historical context, the design of this home becomes a cohesive addition to the neighborhood.

Lastly, Stantec won a Silver Innovative Design Award/Commercial for the interiors of Wix’s 24,000 square-foot office and technical center. Stantec created a space that is not only technologically innovative but also bright and colorful with ample lounge areas where staff can interact and unwind.  Design details included polished concrete floors and open exposed ceilings. Light wood tones and pops of yellow, green, orange and blue colors provided employees with a tropical feel.  There are bright green swings in the reception, cabana-style “hang out” spaces and a living wall at the entrance made of green moss displaying the Wix logo while also bringing the outside in. 

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.

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.

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.

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.

KoDA’s ‘Miami Music Box’ Exhibit is ready for Art Basel

dsc_0547KoDA will be participating in their first Art Basel Miami event, at this year’s RAW Pop-Up.  The architecture firm always aims to create ambitious designs that examine the environmental, cultural and social context of each site.  See the story in The Miami Herald.

Much has changed in Miami since the days of segregated fitting rooms in department stores.

An important exhibit, “Miami Music Box,” will be on display at the former Burdines in downtown Miami from Tuesday, Dec. 4, through Sunday, Dec. 9, during Art Basel Week. The pop-up art experience will take place in what used to be the dressing rooms, divided by race, in the popular store.

Organizers said it is a conceptualization of how far our community has progressed. Proceeds from the event will be donated to the Miami Music Project’s mission to impact student lives through the power of music.

To read more, visit the Miami Herald.

 

Wesley Kean, Principal & Founder of Award-Winning Architecture and Design Firm, KoDA

© Azeez Bakare Studios

© Azeez Bakare Studios

Architect Wesley Kean, Principal & Founder of Miami Beach-based architecture and design firm KoDA, is designing with ambition for its clients and optimism for the world. He is an expert in connecting architecture with nature and finding radical solutions to sea-level rise and other environmental concerns conducive to South Florida and other coastal communities.

Wesley and his team specialize in offering creative solutions and design services for all scales and types of architecture including retail, residential and large urban projects.

The award-winning firm uses analysis and research to develop the design of highly distinctive buildings, landscapes, interiors and experiences. Wesley is a leader in Metabolism, a post-war Japanese architectural movement that fused ideas about architectural mega structures with those of organic biological growth. His view on “How Metabolist Ideas Can Potentially Solve Sea-Level Rise Vulnerability” has been published in AIA’s Florida/Caribbean Architect magazine.

An active member of the AIA and NCARB and a visiting critic at the University of Miami, Florida International University and Miami-Dade College, the New Hampshire native is also a champion of the Make-A-Wish Foundation and a member of the Miami Music Project soundboard. For the upcoming Miami Art Week, Wesley will be showcasing his artistic talents. As part of a creative campaign for the Miami Music Project, KoDA’s “Miami Music Box” exhibit will be on display at RAW POP UP art show that’s taking place at the historic Burdines flagship building in downtown Miami.

Head to KoDA’s website or follow them on social media @kodamiami.

OBR Highlights Architects Throughout the Month of ‘Archtober’

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Today marks the first day of Architecture Month, also knows as ‘Archtober’ – a month-long celebration of architecture and design.

Once popularly known for its influential Art Deco movement, Miami has reinvented itself, while preserving characteristics from its past, to become a world-class architectural destination. Today, it’s not uncommon to hear of world-renowned architects selecting Miami as the location for their next project.

We have a deep appreciation for the architects in Miami that embody its unique styles and have put our city on the map. So, throughout the month of October we will be spotlighting our architecture clients and how they’ve impacted our local built environment.

Award-winning architecture firm, Choeff Levy Fischman, is well-known for its Tropical Modern home designs that have transformed Miami Beach’s most luxurious neighborhoods, including the Venetian Islands and North Bay Road. Architecture and design firm Stantec is responsible for some of Miami’s best residential and hospitality venues, which are all designed with the community in mind. An architect by trade, Robert Ayona is the co-founder of Bloommiami, a design and production firm specializing in the creation of retail pop-ups for luxury brands. Kean Office for Design + Architecture is a knowledge – and creativity – based practice with a focus and dedication to architecture and design, leading to highly distinctive environments, buildings, interiors and experiences.

Be sure to follow us on Instagram @obrmarketing to learn more about each client and their work.