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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.

MCAD and AIA Miami Host FitCity Miami 6

The Miami Center for Architecture & Design in partnership with the Miami Chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA Miami) and the Consortium for a healthier Miami-Dade will host the 6th annual FitCity Miami Conference on Friday, March 15.

The annual conference explores the intersection between health and the built environment. This year’s FitCity conference will focus on Mobility & Climate Change and invites participants to deepen their understanding of how mobility in Miami-Dade has an important, measurable and long-term impact on public health.

Guest presenters include Maria Nardi, MDC Parks; Marta Viciedo Urban Impact Lab; Kokei Otosi, Van Alen Institute; Bernard Zyscovich, FAIA, Zyscovich Architects; and David Capelli, Co-Founder & Director of #SmartMiami. 

Architects, planners, designers, public health professionals, academics, city managers, elected officials, community leaders, and residents are encouraged to attend and invited to this open discourse on how policies can be beneficial to community health and overall quality-of-life.

For more information on FitCity and to register for the event, click here.

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.

Choeff Levy Fischman’s Prairie Avenue Residence Featured in Modern Luxury Miami

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Award-winning architects at Choeff Levy Fischman teamed up with developer, Mathieu Massa and the interior design professionals at Dunagan & Diverio Design Group to culminate the perfect Tropical Modern Miami Beach residence.

The home showcases CLF’s signature indoor-outdoor living style, with expansive glass sliding doors, and exotic stone flooring to ensure a seamless flow between the interior and exterior. The interiors combine a palette of grays, tans and taupe boasting European custom Oak shelving, natural gray Capri stone floors, and a unique limestone fireplace.

Offering 6,300-square-feet of living space with five bedrooms and six and a half baths, the waterfront home sits of 65-feet of water frontage and allows for 180-degree waterfront views. Outdoors, an outdoor kitchen and a large swimming pool create the perfect Miami-style entertaining space.

The turn-key residence is currently listed for $7.95 million via Julian Johnston of MIA Waterfront. To view more images of the residence, visit the home’s listing.

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

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.

Wynwood Central Artist Collective

The Wynwood Central Artist Collective was commissioned to celebrate and show appreciation for the talented artists who have helped make Wynwood an internationally recognized arts center.  Developed and managed by Oberhausen Marketing & Public Relations (OBR) and produced and curated by prolific and esteemed street artist Daniel Fila, a.k.a. KRAVE, and Yuval Ofir of Yo Miami, the exhibit showcased the works of nine prominent local street artists on the fencing of the Wynwood Central construction site during Art Basel 2013.

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Iconic National Hotel Miami Beach Re-Launches with Multi-Million Dollar Restoration and New Programming

The National Hotel Miami Beach, an Art Deco landmark in the heart of South Beach, has completed an extensive $12 million renovation in 2014, restoring the hotel to its original style and glamour.

Renovations began in 2010 with the hotel’s Cabana Building and continued to the original Historic Tower’s spacious guestrooms, meetings, and public venues.  Throughout, the hotel has worked diligently with the Historic Preservation League in order to restore the hotel’s Art Deco details. Read more

SoBe Local Experience Held at Macchialina Restaurant

 

Chef Michael Pirolo of Macchialina and Diego Ganoza of Gravity Brewlab

Oberhausen Marketing & Public Relations’ monthly SoBe Local event was held at Macchialina, a casual Italian taverna located on Alton Road between 8th & 9th that’s part of the Pubbelly group. Chef Michael Pirolo served tasty hand carved porchetta sandwiches with choice of toppings including crispy potatoes, broccolini and pepperonta while Diego Ganoza of Gravity Brewlab’s poured his specially brewed “Saizonetta” beer. Art being part of the SoBe Local experience, local celebrity artist Krave was in the house creating one of his pieces “El Fresco” style. Read more