Miami’s Surf Club to be revived and extended with a new hotel and residences designed by Richard Meier
Miami’s Surf Club is being revived and a new hotel and residences are being built by Richard Meier. expanded
While the Miami Beach shoreline continues to roar architecturally, an enticing new project is under construction 20 minutes north in the quaint, flat beachfront neighborhood of Surfside. In terms of its skyscraper neighbors – buttoned Bal Harbor to the north and glitzy, rowdy Miami Beach to the south – Surfside feels cozy and sleepy; But an ambitious new development, led by Fort Capital at the legendary Surf Club, is set to revive the area.
A historic 1920s landmark on nine acres on the Atlantic Ocean, the Surf Club was once a glamorous hidden playground for celebrities like Elizabeth Taylor, Ava Gardner, and Dean Martin. Not only is the property originally designed by Russell Pancoast being completely restored, but the Pritzker Prize-winning architect Richard Meier was also commissioned to design a new 80-room hotel and two residential towers with 157 private residences.
Meier’s building designs overshadow the surrounding architecture, but he calls his designs “a continuum”.
‘At the Surf Club the Mediterranean style architecture is a nice scale and in that way is very related to what we have [are] do here. The scale, the human feeling of moving through the rooms, will be very similar. ‘
The two 12-story towers with residential houses and penthouses with private gardens, pools and lifts are also designed by Meier. The unifying strategy, he says, is the introduction of natural light, the creation of viewing corridors and the priority of opening spaces to the water.
“The Residences at the Surf Club are in many ways connected to early houses that I built, like the Smith House and the Douglas House, which have two-story living space, lots of transparency and openness. They offer the feeling of living in a unique house four or five floors above the ground, ”explains the architect.
The size of this project is the biggest thing Surfside has seen in decades. But Fort Capital CEO, idiosyncratic developer Nadim Ashi, has no plans to turn the Surf Club into a noisy South Beach-style party zone.
“The origin of the club and its wonderful history were unique things that I wanted to keep and improve,” says Ashi. “We create something that is intimate. There are only 150 apartments in almost 9 hectares, so our density is actually pretty low. ‘
Ashi not only brought Meier with the lasso, but also hired Joseph Dirand to design the interior of the hotel, which is reminiscent of the era when the surf club was born. He has also signed a contract with the Four Seasons Resorts to run the hotel as a five-star property and offer residents a full range of concierge services. Those staying at the Tower property have access to all facilities at the surf club, including the restaurants, spa, swimming pool and 250 yards of white sand beach. Surf Club members have to wait in the meantime to regain access to their beloved club: the property won’t be completed until 2016.