Design Miami temporary structure
DESIGN MIAMI/ UNVEILS FURTHER DETAILS ON NEW TEMPORARY STRUCTURE
For the first time, Design Miami/, the pre-eminent international fair for limited edition design, has commissioned a new temporary structure to house the main body of the show.
Created by emerging award-winning New York architectural practice, Aranda/Lasch, the 43,000 ft2 (4,000 m2) space is located at the intersection of NE 39th Street and 1st Court in Miami’s Design District. The commission marks a thrilling addition to the Design Miami/ curatorial programme, underlining the show’s objective to underscore the inseparable relationship between design and architecture.
“We’ve always staged Design Miami/ in wonderful historical buildings, such as the Moore Building in Miami and the Markthalle in Basel, but this year we decided to use our venue to make a bold architectural statement reflecting the future of design rather than the past,” Ambra Medda, Design Miami’s Director explains. She adds, “We are very excited to be able to collaborate with a young and innovative studio that is not afraid to experiment and take risks. We see this project as the embodiment of today’s spirit, in which traditional boundaries are becoming meaningless and creatives are working across the disciplines of art, architecture and design. These ideas are also echoed inside the show, where we are seeing more limited edition design work created by architects and more gallerists carrying architectural drawings and maquettes.”
“There were two key things we wanted to accomplish,” Ben Aranda of Aranda\Lasch explains of the final design. “We wanted to make the interior ample and light-filled. When you’re exhibiting furniture and design objects, you need a taller, more spacious exhibition area than when you’re hanging things on a wall. We are using a standard tent system but making modifications to accommodate the design show’s needs, and bringing in light in a way which is not normally done in these structures,” Aranda adds.
Another objective was to emphasize the fair’s presence in the neighborhood. Noting that a key element of Design Miami/ is its exuberant outdoor nature, with fair-goers spilling onto the streets and enjoying the warm climate in December, Aranda\Lasch incorporated a breezeway around the perimeter of the structure, which, “creates a subtle transition between inside and outside and provides people a space to hang-out.”
“One of the challenges of working with standard tent technology is that it’s hard to create a ‘public’ building,” Aranda explains. “Traditionally, public buildings usually have staircases or loggias where people can gather, but with a tent there’s just a vinyl wall, there’s no transition.” Aranda\Lasch’s breezeway is the solution to this dilemma, situated behind a highly customized 30ft (approximately 9 meters) tall façade. This stunning outer membrane features a cut pattern of translucent vinyl, which will create shadow patterns reminiscent of light coming through trees while at the same time allowing a breeze to percolate. “We are deeply invested in exploring pattern as a way to open up design possibilities,” Aranda explains.
The natural theme continues inside with the Palm Court, a central section that is approximately 100ft long by 15ft wide (approximately 30 by 4.5 meters), which will be the site for the Campana Brothers’ Designer of the Year installation. The proportions and ceiling height have been specially calculated to allow room to accommodate a group of palm trees that already exist on the site.
“The ground seldom shifts within the tent industry because there are so many technical constraints. It’s very difficult to innovate,” Aranda says of the challenges in designing the structure. To realise their vision, Aranda/Lasch closely collaborated with leading US tent manufacturer, EventStar, which is based in Miami. Alain Perez, EventStar’s founder, explains; “The space required new engineering to meet building permits while pushing things like spans and marrying all the functional needs within the design.” One of these challenges was to accommodate the height of the structure, which reaches 40ft (just over 12 meters).
While Design Miami/ will continue to host Satellite Exhibitions and other events throughout the Design District this December, the new venue will serve as the heart of the show, the centerpiece for the neighborhood during its annual celebration of cutting-edge art and design.
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