Global design firm Fentress Architects and Arquitectonia have given the 1950s-era Miami Beach Convention Center (MBCC) a sustainable and modern redesign — that has also recently received LEED Silver certification. Located in the heart of Miami Beach, Florida, the convention center has long been internationally known as the host for annual events such as Art Basel Miami Beach and eMERGE Americas. With the recent renovation and expansion, the energy-efficient venue is not only better equipped to withstand hurricanes but is now recognized as one of the most technologically advanced convention centers in the U.S.
Completed earlier this year, the 1.4-million-square-foot redesign of the Miami Beach Convention Center takes cues from the regional context for both its exterior and interior design. The eye-catching exterior facade features more than 500 unique aluminum solar fins that, when seen from afar, mimic the movement of nearby ocean waves. Inside, colors and patterns were used to emulate receding water, sea foam and local coral reef patterns. Satellite images of nearby ocean waves, coral and sandbars were even used to create custom carpet patterns.
In addition to providing contextual cues, the exterior angled fins help to mitigate solar gain while filtering dappled light to the indoors. Glazing and connections were selected for resistance to projectiles and hurricanes to comply with FEMA code. Critical building systems have also been elevated to the second floor to allow the building to remain operational in the event of flooding or rising sea levels.
The project’s resiliency to storms extends to the outdoor landscape as well. Together with West8, Fentress Architects transformed the existing 6-acre surface parking lot into a vibrant public park that includes a tropical garden, game lawn, shaded areas and a veterans’ plaza. In total, 12 acres of green space have been added along with over 1,300 new trees to increase the previous acreage of the 25-acre campus by 245%.
Photography by Robin Hill, Craig Denis and Tom Clark via Fentress Architects and Miami Beach Convention Center