miércoles, 6 de junio de 2012

100 biscayne tower

address: 100 north biscayne boulevard, miami, united states
architects: rader and associates
date: 1964

Brainchild of developer José Ferré, the ambitious 100 North Biscayne -now New World Tower- was for a time Miami´s tallest building, and its first modern tower to mix office and residential uses. It was also the first commercial skyscraper built entirely of reinforced concrete, a demosnstration perhaps, since Ferré´s Maule Industries was Miami´s premier concrete provider. At 30 stories, it far exceeded the 18-story First National Bank Building of 1957, and it topped the Dade County Courthouse by 16 feet, holding the title of Miami´s tallest building until it was edged out by Suntrust International Center in 1969. It employed a "piggyback" use principle: while the lower floors were for offices, its top 9 stories were originally built as apartments, served by a separate entrance and lobby, an early attempt to transform Miami´s central business district into a twenty-four-hour neighborhood. While the luxury apartments managed to attract some prominent Miamians, the idea was far ahead of its time, and the residential idea was abandoned. Subsequently, the upper floors were converted to office use.

The 100 Biscayne Tower´s dark curtain wall was the first in Miami to use tinted, heat-resisting glas, thus not requiring the tropicalizing sun-protection devices that were a common feature of office building design in the 1950´s. Similar to the Bacardi Building, its slender shaft featured an east-facing glass curtain wall sliced by continuous marble-clad piers rising the building´s full height. Its north and south facades are contrastingly solid, while, in a cost-cutting measure, the west facade has solid spandrels and bare concrete piers.

Ferré originally intended to built his "New York-style" skyscraper at the more prominent intersection of Biscayne Boulevard and Flagler Street. That site later became the location for One Biscayne Tower, Miami´s tallest during the 1970s and early 1980s. Ferré´s son Maurice, Miami mayor in the late 1970s and early 1980s, would follow in the father´s city-building foot-steps, presiding over the construction boom that transformed Downtown in the 1980s.

Allan T. Shulman, Randall C. Robinson Jr., James F. Donnelly

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