Dezeen Magazine

Monad Terrace by Jean Nouvel

Jean Nouvel elevates Miami Beach residences to avoid rising sea levels

French architect Jean Nouvel's first residential project in Florida is raised over 11 feet above sea level to address the growing risk of flooding in Miami Beach.

Monad Terrace will be located in the city's South Beach area, which is home to a swathe of Art Deco buildings that have been revamped over the past few years, but is under threat from rising sea levels due to climate change.

The new development, which will include 59 waterfront residences overlooking Biscayne Bay, will aim to combat the risk by following the city's recently instated codes requiring structures to be elevated over six feet (1.83 metres) above sea level.

It is the first building to adhere to the policy, as Miami belatedly responds to climate change amid growing concern for the low-lying city.

Nouvel surpassed the restriction and located the ground floor 11.5 feet (3.5 metres) above the water level. This allows space for a subterranean car park to also fit in higher than sea level.

Monad Terrace by Jean Nouvel

"This significantly higher grade puts all interior spaces and the garage entrance well above the ​flood plain, while eliminating the need to dig down to the water table to construct below-grade parking," said developer JDS.

Unveiled during last week's Miami art week, the residences are spilt between two buildings arranged around an outdoor space.

Inward-looking facades feature sawtooth profiles clad in honeycomb-patterned glazing, designed to reflect light coming off a central pool and the lagoon beyond.

"It's all about the water," said Nouvel. "And all the design work is to create a vision framing the lagoon and the bay."

Each apartment will come with a generous outdoor terrace, and kitchens and bathrooms also designed by the architect featuring marble surfaces and wood accents.

Monad Terrace by Jean Nouvel

Residents will have access to amenities like a 116-foot (35-metre) swimming pool and hot tub overlooking Biscayne Bay, a cafe and juice bar, and storage for bicycles and water sports equipment.

Pritzker Prize winner Nouvel is one of many starchitects working on residential projects in and around Miami.

BIG recently completed a pair of twisting towers at Coconut Grove, while skyscrapers by Foster + Partners, Zaha Hadid Architects and Herzog & de Meuron are all at different stages of planning or construction.

Nouvel's other projects in the US include a supertall, skinny skyscraper rising in Manhattan. The Philharmonie de Paris and the city's Institut du Monde Arabe, as well as the Torre Agbar in Barcelona, are among some of the best-known buildings by the architect – who ranked 40th on Dezeen Hot List, a guide to the most-talked-about architects, designers and institutions of 2016.