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Monday, February 7, 2011

Miami Beach, Florida - Frank Gehry - New World Symphony - New Building + West 8 Park

Frank Gehry's New World Symphony project was completed just a few weeks ago.  Next to the hall, a park was built with a 7,000 square foot project system with an immersive sound system for the concerts being simulcast inside.

On of my best friends designed and installed the sound system and he was the contractor for the symphony hall.  We went to the concert and had  little picnic.  There were probably 1,000 people in the park and it was really cool.

JR, being just mildly precocious, decided to be the conductor for the concert.  This was going on for at least 30 minutes and my son had quite the audience.  So, here's a little snippet of the event and Frank Gehry's newest project.

Youtube Video Link

Here are a couple of snapshots.  The first one is kind of a funny story.  I was at a City Commission meeting waiting to speak about implementing Buzzsaw for the permitting department.  While I was waiting, one of the topics was about cost overruns on the project, the fee to design the park and the subject came up about value engineering part of the adjacent Gehry parking garage.  There was some discussion about removing the mesh covering for the garage against the back wall that was on a back street.  I laughed.  It isn't every day that you get to sit in on a client value engineering a Frank Gehry project.  Of course, as you see in the first picture, they didn't VE it out.

Instead, they called Frank's bluff on the fee and hired Dutch landscape architects, West 8.  I don't know how you spend $10 million on a  park, but they did build it.

From Miami Herald:

‘Gehry withdrew from the park project in April after the city – which shifted $2 million from the park to an accompanying Gehry-decorated garage next door because of cost overruns – balked at the fees. Some commissioners made critical remarks the famed architect called ‘insulting.’
Gehry said he had undertaken the park design in addition to the hall only as a favor to New World Symphony founder Michael Tilson Thomas, an old friend, and was disinclined to quibble over his fee.
Moreover, he called the $10 million construction budget insufficient for the ambitious goals for the park, which is meant to function both as a restful green space and a lively urban crossroads, with concerts or rehearsals taking place inside the hall projected on the building’s facade for viewers in the park.
Gehry did, however, agree to review the final park design gratis.
West 8 beat out a second high-profile finalist, Hargreaves Associates, designers of Miami Beach’s new and popular South Pointe Park. On schedule and within budget, Hargreaves transformed an underused park by creating a serpentine pathway atop an artificial mound on the flat shoreline to provide parkgoers sweeping views of Government Cut.
The competition between the two finalists amounted to Mac versus PC – with West 8 the edgier and less conventional choice, and Hargreaves the solid, more-established alternative.

 Miami Beach SoundScape by West 8

My photos do this post no justice.

Here are some links to professional daytime photos: http://www.dezeen.com/2011/01/27/miami-beach-soundscapelincoln-park-by-west-8/


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