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The Positive Effects of Good Storytelling

Former Pediatric Critical Care of South Florida patient Xander Nunez has a special place in our hearts. A heart transplant recipient at just four months old, we shared his incredible survival story with the Sun-Sentinel earlier this year in honor of National Heart Month.  The South Florida media channel showed interest in his story and proceeded to interview his mother and our client Dr. Gerald Lavandosky. His story ran in the paper’s print and online versions in February.

Michele McCauley, owner of BurgerFi in Boca Raton Pointe, reached out to the Hopkins-Nuñez family and offered to host a fundraiser for them after reading the article. As a registered nurse, she knows how high healthcare costs can get. But McCauley was able to relate to the family’s story on a more personal level as well.

“I also had a baby who had a heart defect that passed away and I know the stress you’re going through,” she said.

On April27,  a week before Xander’s first birthday, BurgerFi hosted the day-long fundraiser.

“When there’s something wrong with a child, your whole world falls apart and the stress is just insurmountable, and you would change places with that child to make that issue go away. So I always try to reach out to people, if I read it in the Sun Sentinel or see it on TV, I try and reach out to them,” she said.

This recent case study is just one example of how the power of storytelling and visibility can have a meaningful impact on someone’s life.

MCAD Hosts 2nd Annual Urban Warrior Awards

The Miami Center for Architecture & Design promotes awareness and appreciation of the ways in which architecture and urban design influence and enhance the quality of life in our community.

On Thursday, May 16, join MCAD as they host the 2nd Annual Urban Warrior Awards and recognize those individuals who have made strides to improve Miami’s urban landscape.

The 2019 honorees are:

  • Lifetime Achievement Award: Six-term Miami Mayor, Maurice A. Ferré
  • Visionary Award: Urban Impact Lab Co-Founder, Marta Viciedo
  • Visionary Award: Barlington Group Co-Founder/Managing Partner, Bill Fuller
  • Visionary Award: Barlington Group Co-Founder/Co-Managing Partner, Martin Pinilla II

The Urban Warrior Awards will be held from 6-9 p.m. at the Silverspot Cinema, 300 SE 3rd St. #100 Miami, FL 33131.

Click here to register for the event.

Earth-Minded: Green-Friendly Designs By OBR Clients

Earth Day is celebrated yearly around the world on April 22. The event, which was first celebrated in 1970, supports initiatives aimed at protecting our environment. Architects and designers play a major role in creating built environments that honor and preserve our environment.

On this Earth Day, we’re highlighting our clients’ projects that take into consideration our environment when designing projects across the world.

Tenerife Cruise Terminal

Designed by Berenblum Busch Architects, the Tenerife Cruise Terminal in Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Spain, was designed to be a state-of-the art passenger terminal. An adaptive re-use project, the new terminal became the first building to obtain the European Class A Highest Energy Savings Classification in Tenerife. BBA’s design of the terminal reduced the CO2 emissions by 60 percent, and 100,000 Euros in annual electrical savings.

6480 Allison Road Residence

This waterfront Miami Beach residence is yet another stunner designed by Choeff Levy Fischman. One breathtaking feature of the design is the open atrium with two 20-foot living walls. The atrium allows direct views to the water and the living areas from the interior open kitchen. When all sliding walls are open, the kitchen has direct connection through the residence to the exterior features and views taking full advantage of South Florida’s tropical climate.

Midtown 29

The 309-unit Midtown 29 is designed by architecture and design firm, Stantec. The residential building was awarded LEED Silver certification by the U.S. Green Building Council for its sustainable design and environmental performance. Midtown 29 achieved this classification by including green features like Nest® thermostats, solar shades, LED lighting throughout, energy-efficient appliances, electric car charging stations, recycling in every floor, living green walls, low VOC paints and reclaimed wood.

Solitair Brickell

The latest luxury high-rise gracing Miami’s evolving skyline, Solitair Brickell was designed by Stantec. Solitair was created with environmental concerns in mind and has received Silver certification by the National Green Building Standard (NGBS). The design and orientation avoid direct sunlight and solar radiation. Interior materials, such as paint, carpets, adhesives and sealants are low emitting to maintain optimum indoor air. Green features, such as low VOC paints, recycled glass, wood and quartz were used throughout the interior of the building.

Aviation Resource Group

Designed by Miami Beach-based architecture and design firm, KoDA, the new headquarters for Aviation Resource Group brings nature into the workplace. The design of the 3,300 square foot office connects and enhances the abundance of existing sub-tropical landscape. A combination of Gumbo Limbo trees and century-old Oaks contrast the building’s rigid, steel structure.

Frontier Building Completes Pittsfield, Massachusetts’ First Chili’s

FRONTIER Building has completed its third Chili’s Grill & Bar. Built from the ground-up, the 5,000-square-foot casual dining restaurant is located at 555 Hubbard Avenue in the Berkshire Crossing Shopping Center in Pittsfield, Mass. It is Pittsfield’s first Chili’s Grill & Bar.

The fast-casual eatery’s 10-seat bar features the latest interior prototype design, which brings a modern twist to the timeless franchise. The restaurant’s interior features brick, wood and stone details creating a warm dining experience.

“We’re grateful to have been selected to build out this new restaurant design concept for Chili’s Grill & Bar,” says Andrew Goggin, director of construction at FRONTIER Building. “The project was completed successfully and efficiently, and we’re proud to add it to our roster of completed projects across the country.”

To read more about this project, visit Retail & Restaurant Facility Business.

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.