The US$620 million project includes a 1,435,000 SF (133,400 m2) redesign, incorporating a 500,000 SF (46,500 m2) exhibit hall, four new ballrooms ranging from 10,000 to 60,000 SF (930 to 5,600 m2), and 127,000 SF (11,800 m2) of new meeting spaces. Over six acres (2.5 hectares) of parking lot are being transformed into a public park, including a tropical garden, game lawn, shaded areas, veterans’ plaza, and public art. The parking was relocated to the roof of the convention center. Arquitectonica, designer of the façade and Associate Architect, collaborated with Fentress Architects, Lead Architect for the project.
Arquitectonica drew its inspiration for the façade from Miami Beach’s relationship to the water, studying the natural elements of the ocean and its underwater scenery. More than 500 angled aluminum sunshades of varying depth create an undulating rhythm across the length of the façade that emulate the nearby ocean waves, while simultaneously reducing the thermal load by deflecting direct sun exposure and allowing views of the new parks. This nautical inspired approach to the design aesthetic is reflected throughout the interiors of the building, recalling receding waters and sea foam, with finishes patterned after various types of local coral reef; and resulting in the “tropicalization” of the Miami Beach Convention Center.