West 8 Enhances Miami’s North Beach

by | Jan 9, 2021 | Build, Landscape Architecture

West 8 completes a series of public and private landscapes to complement Renzo Piano’s Eighty Seven Park

Working in collaboration with the world-renowned Renzo Piano Building Workshop, the landscape enables the iconic building to float above a lush, 35-acre Public Park to the south and a two-acre garden to the north. Inspired by the site’s extraordinary setting and the native and sub-tropical ecology of South Florida, the private and public, natural and manmade, and indoor and outdoor spaces are seamlessly brought together.

Sitting as a bookend against the last plot of open space, Eighty Seven Park is located at the edge of the city where park meets the ocean. Floating above a tropical nature park – once filled with former villas along Atlantic way, the scheme creates a fresh dialogue with the vibrant community of North Beach. Carefully preserving and enhancing the natural dune system and urban conditions of the coastline, it takes the site’s best attributes and brings them into harmony, creating an urban Eden in South Florida.

As a benefit to the community, the scheme offers unobstructed views towards the ocean from Collins Avenue, aided by sinking the parking underground. Two public connections provide access to the coast and South Beach, the southern of which offers extra width and comfort through a series of benches and shady native planting. In the two-acre private oasis on the north side of the property, two elegant water channels and a series of minimalist footpaths guide the viewer from the urban Biscayne Bay out into the Atlantic Ocean. The Miami Beach experience was brought into the building’s lobby, which sits floating above a reflective pool of water and offers views towards the ocean across the pool deck. Additionally, inspired by the legacy of Miami Beach and Art Basel, the design includes careful curation and positioning of world-class artworks within the landscape.

Guided by the coastal spectrum of plant species, the team curated stunning, native, and expressive coastal and upland planting. Starting from the restored dunes, clusters of wind-bent Coconut Palms give way to a grove of dancing Sea Grapes, specially pruned to enhance the distinct silhouettes of each tree. Further upland, a collection of specimen Gumbo Limbos, with their unique red bark color and flaky texture, comprise the heart of the garden and create a transition zone between native coastal species and upland sub-tropical planting. Protected from the salt-spray and hurricane winds by the site’s topography and the building form, the planting in the entrance area is comprised of the most tropical species.

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