Where's the best place to be when you're on a tropical vacation? Why, right near the beach, of course. The quest for a "waterfront view" has led thousands of hotels and stores to scoop up real estate just steps from the sand. While this proximity makes it easy to take a moonlight stroll on the beach, it creates shorelines crowded with skyscrapers that block the views for others. But Bjarke Ingels, one of our favorite outside-the-box architects, doesn't believe that first come, first served should apply to smart ocean-front construction. BIG recently unveiled plans for The Grove at Grand Bay: two luxury condominium towers that employ a spiraling design to give all inhabitants a breathtaking view of Miami's Grand Bay and the surrounding city.
Most beachfront hotels and condominium towers employ a traditional box-like design. While this is efficient, it means only rooms on one side of the building get access to unrestricted views of the ocean scenery. BIG‘s dynamic design shakes off this limitation by twisting the building around so that optimum views are provided at virtually every level.
The spiraling towers will sprout from a foundation of lush greenery and quickly exceed the height of surrounding structures. The interactive movement of the two towers creates a dancing silhouette on the Grove’s skyline. Sparkling floor-to-ceiling glass windows will allow residents to feel immersed in the coastal views from every direction. Interiors feature open-plan kitchens with gas stoves, sculptural bathrooms and finishes in keystone, marble and wood. Floor plans come in two, three, four and five-bedroom varieties.
Although the cost for owning or renting one of these luxurious condos will likely put Coco out of reach for many of Miami’s visitors, it’s nice to know that the designers still did everything they could to reduce the environmental impact of the new construction. Giant fig trees and gumbo limbos already growing on the grounds were incorporated into the canopied landscape plan created by noted Miami landscape architect Raymond Jungles. With a high percentages of renewable energy sources and recycled and local materials, the project is even aiming for LEED Gold certification. When the towers open in 2014, their total impact will be less than the site’s previous hotel.