2018

MCHAP

The Grove in Grand Bay

Kai-Uwe Bergmann

Miami, FL, USA

Janaury 2016

PRIMARY AUTHOR

Kai-Uwe Bergmann

CONTRIBUTING AUTHOR

Nichols Brosch Wurst Wolfe Associates (Architect of Record) VSN Engineering (Civil Engineers) ESRAWE (Interior Design Consultant) DeSimone Consulting Engineers (Structural Engineer Consultant) HNGS (Electrical, Mechanical, Plumbing Consultant) Raymond Jungles (Landscape Architect Consultant) Hufsey Nicolaides, Garcia, Suez Associates, Inc. (Mechanical Engineer) O’Brien Lighting (Lighting Consultant) Aquadynamics (Other (Consultant))

AUTHOR

Jason Gilg

PHOTOGRAPHER

Rasmus Hjortshøj

OBJECTIVE

Grove at Grand Bay aims to redefine Miami’s condominium type through novel interpretations of the local architectural language. The two 20-story twisting towers rise above a forested two-story podium which serves two purposes: it supports the Grove 2030 community-led initiative to increase the neighborhood’s tree canopy by 25%, and it introduces resiliency features including elevating the towers 13 feet above the FEMA flood zone. To avoid one tower from blocking the other, each building’s floor plates are rotated three feet at every elevation from the third to seventeenth floors, engineered by a twisting, sloping column geometry. The rotated towers rise side-by-side but never cross paths, allowing all 96 expansive residences to be cleared from the surrounding buildings and capture the full breadth of panoramic views. Whether in the shade of the buildings’ twisting facades or inside, residents fully experience living amid the open air. Gardens and architecture fuse seamlessly at amenity levels, maximizing indoor-outdoor living experiences that are unique to the South Florida climate. Views down into the gardens and beyond Sailboat Bay offer verdant backdrops to residential interiors and vast balconies. The grove is brought into the building with the use of local materials and interior finishes that mirror the exterior environment. Resiliency features include equipping the towers with hurricane-impact glass, which withstood Hurricane Irma’s 100-mile-an-hour winds. The comprehensive, pro-active response plan embedded in Grove and Grand Bay will protect Coconut Grove’s towers and surrounding parks from threats posed by climate change.

CONTEXT

Miami’s leading real estate developer Terra Group sought a building that would add value to the Coconut Grove neighborhood, while still remaining mindful of its colorful past and present surroundings. In the site formerly occupied by the historic Grand Bay Hotel, – a hip Miami hub during the 1980s that fell into decline as trends shifted to Miami Beach at the turn of the decade – Terra wanted a design that would breath life back into the community, seamlessly integrate with its surroundings and preserve the neighborhood’s lush landscape and native plantings. At the same time, the building must adhere to the area’s stringent zoning restrictions and meet Terra’s goal in being sustainable, healthy and socially responsible. The site constraints of the 3-acre lot in South Bayshore Drive included a narrow composition and sloping grade. To further complicate matters, the ground floor must be 13 feet above grade in accordance with FEMA flood regulations, and the building cannot go past 20-stories. Grove at Grand Bay’s concept is derived from these challenges and client demands, as well as its location within the city of Miami in referencing the local condominium vernacular characterized by three elements: shade, brise soleil-style balconies and marina views. The building reinterprets these indigenous traits found in the Miami skyline and continues the evolution of the city’s architectural language. Grove at Grand Bay “re-groves” the heart of the Coconut Grove neighborhood and creates a landscape in tune with its surroundings and its roots.

PERFORMANCE

When Grove at Grand Bay opened in August 2016, it was the first new residential towers to be completed in Coconut Grove in more than 10 years and it sold out within two years of launching. The building has since helped to revitalize the Grove’s business district, which has come alive with upscale retailers and restaurants. The building’s site now has an assessed value of approximately $400 million, about 20-times greater than when it was last occupied as a hotel – the increased tax base as a result will have positive impacts on Coconut Grove, the City of Miami, Miami-Dade County and Miami-Dade Public Schools. Another added value is its low-density; the tower has 96 homes as opposed to the 440 units allowed by local ordinances. This meant residents enjoy additional space and neighbors preserve the idyllic, village-like atmosphere. Larger residences also attracted more end-users who tend to be more invested in their home and hometown – another plus for the hyper-local economy. In early 2017, the towers became LEED Gold certified, a rare accomplishment for a residential condominium and the first pair of all-residential towers to achieve this in Miami-Dade County. Moreover, the towers support the Grove 2030’s initiative to increase the neighborhood’s tree canopy by 25%. The Burle Marx-inspired landscape on the towers’ podium includes nearly 500 trees and more than 15,000 native plants.