Miami Beach Convention Center
by OMA


Dutch firm OMA's proposal to place a hotel on top of the Miami Beach Convention Center is going head-to-head with Danish firm BIG's plan for the site (+ slideshow + movie).

Both Rem Koolhaas' firm and rivals BIG are presenting their proposals to the Miami Beach City Commission today.

Miami Beach Convention Center proposal by OMA

OMA is working alongside property developers Tishman and UIA, architects TVSdesign and landscape architects MVVA and Raymond Jungles, who together form a team called South Beach ACE.

Miami Beach Convention Center proposal by OMA

"The convention centre site is a total aberration in the urban fabric of the city," says Dan Tishman, chairman of Tishman, in the movie (above). "It just doesn't live up to the standards of Miami."

Miami Beach Convention Center proposal by OMA

The team's vision includes building an 800-room hotel on top of the existing convention centre, which is the location for the annual Art Basel - Miami Beach and Design Miami trade fairs.

Miami Beach Convention Center proposal by OMA

The convention centre would also be expanded and reorganised, rotating it 90 degrees and placing its main entrance to the south, where it would face a row of new and old buildings, including the renovated Jackie Gleason Theater.

Miami Beach Convention Center proposal by OMA

To the north would be a network of shaded green spaces and a large grassy hill covering a loading area for trucks and a parking garage.

Miami Beach Convention Center proposal by OMA

Other OMA projects we've reported on lately include the Shenzhen Stock Exchange, which is due to complete next month in the Chinese city, and a masterplan for a new urban development south of Bordeaux, France – see all architecture by OMA.

Miami Beach Convention Center proposal by OMA

Rival shortlisted firm BIG has also unveiled plans for two twisted apartment blocks in Coconut Grove, Miami, while architect John Pawson recently designed 26 luxury apartments for Miami Beach – see all projects in Miami.

Miami Beach Convention Center proposal by OMA

Here's some more information from South Beach ACE:

Sitting on 52 acres within the vibrant and unique community that is Miami Beach, an outdated convention centre acts as an urban blockade – inactive when conventions are not in town, disruptive to adjoining neighborhoods and inhibiting connections to Lincoln Road and surrounding communities. Our masterplan resolves each of these issues through a series of ingenious yet simple moves:

» We conceptually rotate the convention center, reorienting the site to allow for east-west neighbourhood connectivity and a southerly orientation for both convention centre and hotel guests

» We concentrate the density at the centre of the site and make the revamped convention centre and its meeting and ballroom space contiguous with the hotel – a feature that meeting planners love

Miami Beach Convention Center proposal by OMA

» We reimagine the area's existing assets: the Jackie Gleason Theater, the Carl Fisher Clubhouse, City Hall, the 17th Street Garage and 17th Street itself are all maintained and transformed to better engage their surroundings while keeping the character of Miami Beach

» We fill the rest of the site with public amenities and programmed uses appropriate to activate the space 7 days a week, 365 days a year

In short, our plan upgrades the convention centre into a best-in-class facility and weaves the entire convention centre site into the fabric of Miami Beach. It will feel both new and like it was always there.

  • Jim

    Beautiful concept, but all those windows could be a hazard since the area is susceptible to hurricanes.

    • theidlearchitect

      Laminated glass, Jim.

  • Sjoerd

    What happened to their Photoshop skills?

  • internautas

    Stunning how identical the proposials and even presentations are. Was it because of the competition rules? Or just guys in OMA and BIG migrate from one to the other so often that there is no difference between the two?

  • Luke

    Why were two such similar firms chosen to compete against each other? They submitted the same building!

  • Bubble

    Apple-style presentation is cheesy (I was half-expecting a white “iBuilding” logo to pop up at the end), but, you know, that’s how you convince.

  • christine

    The documentary is a benchmark for future competition. The expected 3D flythroughs done by some amazingly talented French 3D render companies are almost old school.

    The holistic approach to the site is bringing an intelligent and remarkable solution to an American context.

  • To gain an understanding of the proposals I watched the two competing firms’ animations. It seems, or it at least it comes across that BIG has limited information about context, while OMA is looking at the site and their team quite comprehensively.

    Will be interesting to see who wins.

  • Mark

    Like many others, Bjarke Ingels used to work at OMA but split off to start his own firm. But throughout many of BIG’s projects there is a clear influence of OMA’s DNA.

    His is more comical and flimsy, an attitude Koolhaas and co sometimes miss. It’s nice to see the teacher versus apprentice relation in this competition!

    • Alvar

      Student in this case plagarises teacher, blatantly! In any other profession he would be an outcast.

  • boooo

    This reminds me of Futurama where Jack Johnson is going head to head with John Jackson for president of the world.

  • theidlearchitect

    My question is why are no Miami architects principally engaged in this project? TWO DUTCH FIRMS? I know, right? The magic elves have struck again.

    • djvd

      *BIG is Danish, not Dutch*

    • bbb

      Except one is Danish…

  • Jess

    Whether its BIG or OMA, the design is foreseeable. Why can’t the perimeter/interface be more human scale? I understand the need for big tall warehouse spaces but it feels like walking among an industrial park!

    Nothing new and nothing inspiring from both. Tired. A big space with a big square? My feet hurt at the thought of it!

  • pablo rios iglesia

    One always expects more from OMA, with the critical architecture that they used to do. I think the firm has grown so much that is not under the control and revolutionary political and social principles of Rem Koolhaas anymore. This project is a project that a group of guys in their twenties can easily do, that is the reason why is so similar to BIG’s proposal.

  • _FA

    OMA’s project stands out over BIG’s proposal no doubt. The video certainly shows a totally different scale of professionalism, not only in terms of architectural design.
    Though I feel sad for REM that he ended up doing these kinds of projects. It totally lacks the criticism and vitality of his early projects.

  • FMart

    Both projects are responding to a same context and a same global attitude. I think OMA isn’t getting older or younger, it’s just that OMA has never been static, in terms of definition. This is a new era for OMA and even for BIG. Personaly, I would choose BIG’s proposal, because it’s creating landscape, views and responding to an iconic and (like someone said before) “apple” aesthetic, in a Damien Hirst painting of massive scale.

  • Rem Coolhouse.