OMA lands Miami Beach
Convention Center commission


Miami Beach Convention Center by OMA

News: Dutch firm OMA has seen off competition from Danish studio BIG to land the high-profile commission to renovate Miami Beach Convention Center, home to the annual Art Basel/Miami and Design Miami trade fairs.

In a meeting held last night, Miami Beach City Commission named the winning development team as South Beach Ace, the group comprising OMA, property developers Tishman and UIA, local architect TVSdesign and landscape architects MVVA and Raymond Jungles.

Miami Beach Convention Center by OMA

OMA's design will see a new 800-room hotel constructed over the roof of the existing convention centre, which itself will be expanded and reorganised by a 90-degree rotation that relocates the entrance on the south side of the site.

OMA's Rem Koolhaas and Shohei Shigematsu commented: "We are thrilled to be chosen to develop one of the most significant urban districts in the US. Our design will reintegrate Miami's vital convention centre with the area's existing neighbours, offering new connections as well as amplifying the character of this vibrant and exciting city."

Miami Beach Convention Center by OMA

Reports claim that Miami Beach city manager Jimmy Morales had recommended BIG's Portman CMC team because it would be a cheaper and quicker construction, but that eventually OMA's proposal was selected on a vote of five to two.

A public vote on the plans will take place in November, and if successful the renovated building could be open by 2018.

Here's an animated fly-through of the winning design:

See more images of OMA's proposal in our earlier story, or see the opposing design by BIG.

  • Urban Commentary

    The least explanatory walk-through I’ve seen in recent times. Would’ve been nice to see a few plans or explanatory diagrams somewhere in the post.

  • Getoverit

    Bow to your master, Bjarke!

  • Eric B

    Wow! Huge win for the OMA-ny peeps! Public process finally gets it right. Feel for the kids at BIG, but someone had to win. And what could they expect after ripping the OMA scheme almost entirely. After all, they were orgianally proposing Cirque as their cultural centerpiece, that was just lame.

    Big ups to the Shiggymatsu Crew!

  • happycamper

    I’m a local and big fan of Bjarke’s work but no question OMA deserved this. As Eric above said, they ripped off OMA’s scheme after initial proposal and OMA’s is both a more practical design from load-in perspective at the convention center and an overall better masterplan (excluding the best element of BIG’s which was the seperate ballroom).

  • justsayin

    If working with developers means the production of something like this (typical Dubai-like, bland, extruded, lets-make-it-look-good-with-some-shrubbery-and-facade-graphics “architecture”), then perhaps Koolhaas should refrain.

  • AlV

    The BIG / West 8 scheme understood public spaces in a place like Miami Beach. I’m from there and the major public space in the city is the beach, followed by streets like Ocean Drive or Lincoln Road. Their scheme of interconnected shady plaza / promenades was very adequate for the climate and the idiosyncrasy of its people. It was easily programmable with cafes, food carts, performances, etc.

    The topographic park by MVVA is a failed typology in Miami. People just don’t go to ‘parks’, they go to the beach! Raymond Jungles couldn’t give good advice on this, because he is basically a private garden landscaper. Also, hardscape spaces are too large on OMA’s scheme.

    • TTT

      That’s what you think the Miami people think. This scheme was chosen by the Miami people.

  • Patrick

    OMA had the better video.