Twisting twin residential towers put a new spin on condominum living in Miami
Story by Charles Moxham
Photography by Rasmus Hjortshoj
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With its two turning tower forms, Grove at Grand Bay by architect Bjarke Ingels combines high-profile design with low-density living
Based in Denmark, internationally respected architect Bjarke Ingels has created many eyebrow-raising designs, including the Serpentine Gallery in London. More recently he has designed an individualistic architectural statement of a different kind in South Florida. Located in Coconut Grove on a 1.2hectare site near Biscayne Bay, Grove at Grand Bay comprises two dramatic 20-storey glass residential towers that twist as they rise to capture spectacular 360-degree views of the area.
Ingels' low-density design – there are only 98 units in total – combines stand-out architecture with sustainability and takes the Miami condominium typology to its most highly evolved state yet. The towers are the first LEED gold-certified buildings in Miami-Dade County – a green distinction achieved largely through energy-saving innovations and low-flow fixtures as well as the use of recycled and locally sourced materials such as oolitic limestone and sustainably harvested wood.
Terra, a leading South Florida real estate development firm, drove the design and president David Martin says that Grove at Grand Bay is intended to integrate with its surroundings.
"The buildings are designed to flow seamlessly between indoor and outdoor environments – a hallmark of Florida living. The 57 units in the North Tower and 41 units in the South Tower all have floor-to-ceiling 3.65m-tall insulated picture windows," says Martin.
To achieve their distinctive presence, the towers' floor plates rotate 90cm at every elevation from the third to the 17th floors. The twisting floors extend on all sides creating generous balconies for all the units. The large balcony overhangs act as brise-soleils, providing shade for the windows of each residence below – another positive in terms of energy efficiency.
Bjarke Ingels says it was important that Grove at Grand Bay respond to its community through a design that was respectful and distinctive.
"When you're doing something for Coconut Grove, it's very much a question of creating a leisurely and relaxed relationship between what's inside and what's outside – also between the apartments and the view, and the balconies and the landscape around them. We really turned the criteria into the driving force of the design.
"In many ways what we were doing was taking the typical typology of the Miami condo with its generous terraces and gorgeous views and using that criteria not just to keep repeating that mould but to optimise it. By creating twisting towers that rise side-by-side but never cross paths, we were able to optimise views, outdoor spaces and the flexibility of our floor plans, while allowing the buildings to interact with one another."
With open, spacious floor plans that average 372m2 in size, the expansive residences are intended to resemble vertical homes in the sky.
The South Tower's 929m2 entire-floor penthouse features an additional 464m2 square feet of outdoor space with a private rooftop terrace and swimming pool. Private two-car garages accompany units larger than 372m2 while a private four-car garage accompanies the South Tower penthouse.
Amenities in the luxury glass apartment buildings include rooftop pools for residents of each tower, a five-star spa and fitness centre, a concierge and butler service, and a private dining room for residents and their guests. There's even a pet spa.
Landscape architect Raymond Jungles designed the gardens and terraces that surround the complex.
Known for his ecologically sensitive landscape architecture, Jungles used hardscape elements created by Ingels as the backdrop for a design that includes numerous water features, nearly 500 trees – including the existing giant figs and gumbo limbos that were incorporated into the canopied landscape – and more than 15,000 plants.
"Most of the trees and plants are native to Coconut Grove," says Jungles. "The result is a lushly landscaped campus that echoes the tropical beauty of Coconut Grove and aids sustainability."
First published date: 07 March 2017
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|Project||Grove at Grand Bay, Miami|
|Architect||Bjarke Ingels, BIG|
|Architect of record||Nichols Brosch, Wurst Wolfe & Assoc|
|Interiors||Esrawe + Cadena|
|Landscape architect||Raymond Jungles|
|Structural engineer||Desimone Consulting Engineers|
|MEP engineer||Hufsey-Nicolaides-Garcia-Suarez Assoc|
|Civil engineer||VSN Engineer|
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