Cultural Development

The Faena Forum was revealed during Art Basel Miami Beach at the start of December, heralded as a pivotal landmark in the new cultural district. A dance commission, Once With Me, Once Without Me, took centre stage at opening, created in a collaboration between choreographer Pam Tanowitz and the building’s OMA architect Shohei Shigematsu. Faena Art devised this display with the idea of conjuring an act of cultural acupuncture to mark the development of the region. Other highlights included a charity gig from Madonna and dancers from the Miami City Ballet School.

At 42,565 square feet and with a 1,000-person capacity, the building forms the centrepiece of the new district due not only to its functionality, but also because of its striking visual appearance. A pristine concreate façade, paired with 350 intricately fitted windows result in an aesthetically eye-catching edifice. The interior features a lobby amphitheatre with Rosa Portugal pink marble floors, a 40-foot high dome with central glazed oculus and a spectacular floor-to-ceiling window. A spiralling walkway takes visitors from street level to the peak of the building, also nodding to Frank Lloyd Wright’s Guggenheim in New York.

The reimagination of the district, backed by Alan Faena, was created as a “neighbourhood integrating dynamic cultural, residential, hotel, retail, culinary and public environments.” With direct waterfront views over the Atlantic Ocean, the borough hosts two other buildings from the same organisation, OMA, a park already accessible to the public, and the Faena Bazaar, scheduled to open in early 2017.

The architect, Shohei Shigematsu, states that: “it was designed as a series of large flexible spaces that can accommodate a variety of events from everything in between the realms of traditional art galleries to new and innovative cultural programs. The Forum represents endless possibilities to host a range of events—from concerts to conventions; roundtable discussion to banquets; intimate exhibitions to art fairs—all within a single evening. Liberated from obligations to operate as a strictly institutional or a strictly commercial entity, it presents a new typology for interaction, leveraging the ambiguous advantage of Faena’s redefinition of culture.”

The Faena Forum, Miami Beach. For more information:

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1. Interior view of Faena Forum, Shohei Shigematsu. Photograph by Iwaan Baan.