Design Team: Jaime Correa
This project explores the American urban/rural dichotomy in one section of Miami-Dade County. The project provides a new community of Ziggurat Buildings facing an internal park within the proposed grid of the block structure. Instead of an extreme position, one in which everything is rural or everything is urban, this mixed-use project takes the middle way: buildings on the streets going north-south are placed along the lot lines to provide a strong urban perception whilst buildings on the east-west axis are separated by a rural grove of citrus trees.
The master plan depicts the rigorous rationality of the disciplined building configurations on the existing site of Miami-Dade County. Three building materials add variety and locational strategies for the sake of perceptual ease: brick on the corners of the project, red stucco at its center, and concrete buildings everywhere else. Each block contains two buildings facing a grove of citrus trees with a long bench completing the overall composition of the central square. Each building has retail uses on the ground floor, offices above, apartments on the top two floors, and a system of open-air terraces for local food/energy production. The top two floors of each building are occupied by small apartments. These apartments can be accessed via a cascading system of stairs or by an internal elevator in the center of each building. Like Mayan pyramids, the apartment units would be perceived as raising units over the top of the proposed citrus tree canopies.
The typical rigor of the materiality of any project is here challenged when the identical building configurations are built in brick, concrete, and/or stucco. In this case, the various building materials are carefully ordered to increase human orientation through a tripartite organization with a beginning, a middle, and an end.