Best Tall Building 200-299 meters Award of Excellence: One Thousand Museum, Miami

Chris Lepine
Director
Zaha Hadid Architects, London

A Fluid and Resilient Design

One Thousand Museum (OTM), in downtown Miami, merges fluid architectural expression with advanced engineering solutions, representing the manifestation of new research in high-rise construction. Situated on Biscayne Boulevard, the building—nicknamed the “Scorpion Tower”—rises above Museum Park, a 30-acre (12-hectare) urban green space that houses the Pérez Art Museum and the Philip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science.

The flowing, structural frame wraps a slender building volume, connecting tower to podium through one continuous, unifying feature, thus avoiding the typical typology of a tower resting on a base. The exoskeleton emerges from the podium as if carved from it. The bracing is further texturized by the lower and upper floor terraces and the podium, which includes even thicker columns that splay out and round off at the corners. Rising sinuously over the body of the tower, the matte, cementitious exoskeleton that envelops the folded glass façade creates a stark contrast that intensifies the interplay of form, reflection and shadow, animating the tower throughout Miami’s continuously changing light conditions.

With its structure at the perimeter, the interior floor plates are almost column-free, allowing maximum variation in floor plans. The moving, curving lines of the exoskeleton mean that each succeeding floor plan is slightly different from the last. On the lower floors, terraces occupy the corners; on the upper floors, the terraces are recessed from the edges. The structure is not a diagrid, but its curving lines do allow for diagonal bracketing that is rigid, stiff, and hurricane-resistant.

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