Magspresso

Magspresso

The coffee kiosk, designed for the MAG corporate headquarters, is set at the center of the collective work space for the building. The kiosk provides a gathering place for the employees as well as a more intimate enclosure within the larger volume where informal conversations can take place.

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Singapore Entertainment Building

Singapore Entertainment Building

Singapore, as in the case of many modern Asian cities, seems to attract and absorb models which have been generated elsewhere in an attempt to rebuild itself for the future. In the case of Singapore, the implementation of foreign models has produced an urban scenario in which much of the existing colonial fabric has been systematically replaced by multitudes of high rise developments. Currently, one may even argue that there is no longer any real context in Singapore; it has been torn down, rebuilt, reinvented. This tabula rasa development strategy has created an artificial environment, devoid of scalar relationships where the coexistence of contrasting types (both in scale and in function) dominates.

Set within this particular urban environment, the project seeks to rethink the

Notion of an entertainment district in Singapore and instead proposes a building for entertainment in which various functions of the district are internalized. The building is comprised of two elements- a large covered hall and a cube. The “basilica-like” hall attempts to address the question of how one may design a contemporary urban space in the tropics. The cubic volume, set atop the covered hall, contains a variety of programs typically associated with entertainment. By night, the taut, scale less, glowing surface of the cube serves as an icon for the district as well as a billboard onto which ever-changing images can be projected. Through the imposition of a strong urban form, the building seeks to generate a sense of district with an instantly recognizable identity.

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Yoca Bar

Yoca Bar

The project called for the design of a sustainable, fast-food, health bar located along Brickell Avenue in Miami, Florida. The bar serves two organic items, yucca bread and natural fruit drinks, meant to be purchased and easily eaten on the go.

In keeping with the business philosophy of the company, the project utilizes only recyclable materials- predominantly locally reclaimed cypress wood- for the design of the shop. The interior is conceived as a continuous, undulating, wood surface that not only conceals existing mechanical systems but also accommodates the principal seating for the space.

The wooden “liner” is set behind an existing, two-storey, glass facade and is designed to engage the passerby. The ceiling and walls of the space are slightly canted towards the rear; a perspectival manipulation meant to elongate the room and heighten the theatricality of the space by focusing the attention of the viewer on the serving window.

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Pool Side

Pool Side

The building is designed to provide a variety of communal spaces for the tenants of two adjacent condominiums. The existing site, proposed for a much larger development, remains largely vacant and offers little built or natural context of interest. As a result, the building has been developed as a series of inward-focused, open air courtyards, each containing one of the primary programs for the building.

The principal courtyard, with its pool and sun-drenched bathing terrace, is defined by an independent hall, gym and a series of “thickened walls” containing seating, outdoor showers, landscape etc. Covered outdoor walkways connect the principal courtyard with two secondary spaces- the basketball court and the children’s garden. These outdoor rooms are clearly defined with distinct characteristics, designed to meet the particular needs of each intended use. Together this collection of spaces affords the occupants a variety of spatial experiences and promotes the seamless integration of interior and exterior space.

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Oak Plaza

Oak Plaza

The project sets out to define a true center for Miami’s Design District by creating the first public space in the neighborhood. An underutilized parking lot, with an existing stand of mature white oaks, was transformed into a paved plaza lined by a thin retail building and an adjacent loggia. The walls of the buildings were clad in an undulating pattern of green and blue glass mosaic tiles that transformed the ordinary masonry surfaces into a vibrant urban mural.

Beyond the new plaza, the project proposed a new street which allowed pedestrians to bisect the length of the existing block. The street provided an unprecedented moment for collaboration. At the onset, the client hired two independent firms to design new retail buildings on either side of the street. Rather than working in isolation, the offices chose to establish a dialogue in the belief that structuing similarities within the urban realm would create a more memorable street section in striking contrast to the immediate environment which often lacks urban continuity.

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Miami’s Design District

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Completed September 2015

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MDO

MDO Building

The new MDO building is situated along southwest 84th Street, one lot south of Tamiami Trail. Its immediate context is defined by a myriad of strip shopping malls and speculative office buildings set hundreds of feet from the main street to accommodate expansive surface parking lots. The result is a cacophony of structures that is emblematic of Miami’s suburban landscape.

We began this project at the height of the Great Recession and from the onset we had to face the challenges of a limited budget, a less than optimal site and a stringent building and zoning code. Nevertheless, we wanted to engage the project because we found common ground with an unconventional client who was interested in developing a building to redefine their retail brand and in so doing transform their existing context. In addition, we were interested in engaging a real and not an idealized Miami Main Street with the aim of confronting the aesthetic challenge of working within the quotidian commercial landscape, recomposing and transforming the elements of Miami’s commercial vernacular including signage, shopfronts, the suburban lawn and even the painted asphalt that covers most of the city’s streets.

The final project reverses the typical urban patterns of the area by pressing the building close to the street and placing the surface parking lot along the rear of the property. Moreover, it sets itself in sharp contrast to its immediate neighbors by developing an architectural language of abstraction and restraint- where a few important elements, such as the recessed entry with its shopfront window are set within large expanses of mute stuccoed walls that house nearly five thousand men’s suits within.

The main double-volume, retail space is the central focus of the building. Its thickened walls are lined with stacked rows of merchandise and it’s ceiling is composed of modified pre-fabricated double tees. The heightened volume is an unexpected spatial experience flooded with natural light and in direct opposition to the cavernous, artificially-lit interiors, characteristic of the adjacent strip malls and office parks.

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890 SW 84 Avenue. Miami, FL 33144

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MAG

MAG Corporate Headquarters

Can a building change the culture of a company; and can the design of the physical environment impact the way that we communicate? These are but a few of the questions that the project for the new corporate headquarters analyzed and attempted to address.

Currently, the company is housed in a series of detached structures situated on a large tract of agricultural land in southern Guatemala. This configuration reinforces a separation of departments and limits the individual employee’s ability to understand his or her role within the company. To reverse this condition, the new building is designed with a large open room, capable of accommodating all employees. Flexible desk arrangements create a collaborative working environment that minimized the current hierarchy, with directors seated in open desks alongside employees. The plan also provides for a variety of work spaces, including enclosed semi-private meeting rooms, exterior courts, open terraces, archives and reading spaces that provide a variety of work environments (both interior and exterior) for productive individual and/or collaborative work.

The overall form of the building is inspired by both vernacular and industrial building typologies seen throughout the Guatemalan countryside.

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Escuintla, Guatemala

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Completed September 2015

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68,000 sq. ft.