Dezeen Magazine

ZHA surfside condo

Zaha Hadid Architects to replace collapsed Surfside condo in Miami

UK studio Zaha Hadid Architects has unveiled designs for a luxury condominium with a glass-bottomed swimming pool in Surfside, Florida, on the site of a structure that collapsed in 2021.

Zaha Hadid Architects unveiled two possible designs for the site, commissioned by developer DAMAC International, which purchased the land in 2022.

Renderings of the design show two slightly different versions of a 12-storey condominium with a void separating two massings. The blocks would be connected by a glass-bottomed swimming pool, which appears to be a similar design to a fully transparent pool that was recently completed as part of a development in London.

ZHA surfside
Top and above: ZHA designed two iterations of the structure for the site

One of the iterations has a more standard form, while the other has a structure that streps back as it rises. Both designs have a similar aesthetic with curved balcony overhangs and large expanses of glass.

The design comes after the development company purchased the site of a 136-unit residential building called Champlain Towers South, which collapsed because of improper maintenance to its concrete structure in 2021, killing 98 people.

"We are honored to have been chosen for this very special project," said ZHA director Chris Lepine.

"While no work of architecture can ever remove the pain of the past, nor should it, a truly ambitious work of architecture can respect such a significant site," he continued. "It's a great responsibility to be providing this vision for Surfside."

Apartment block in Miami by Zaha Hadid Architects
The blocks will be connected by a glass-bottomed pool

The new structure will have 57 residences, a decrease from the previously existing structure in the municipality that lies just north of Miami Beach in Florida.

According to DAMAC, the two design versions have been submitted in order to provide "alternative interpretations of the town planning ordinances".

DAMAC vice president of communications Niall Mc Loughlin said that the design will add an "ultra-luxury experience and a true sense of place" to the area.

ZHA surfside concept at night
It will replace a collapsed building on the beach-front site

"We know we cannot replace what was so painfully lost, but it is our desire that the building honors and respects its location at the heart of Surfside's community and offers a sense of closure to the tragic event of the past while also providing a sense of a new beginning," said Mc Loughlin.

Miami has seen an increase in large building proposals since the 2021 collapse, including a proposed supertall skyscraper by Sieger Suarez Architects and Carlos Ott. ZHA has completed one other building in the Miami area, the One Thousand Museum, a 62-storey residential skyscraper.

The images are by Hayes Davidson.