Faena Forum, Faena Bazaar and Park . Miami

© Iwan Baan

OMA . + archdaily

As the cultural core of the Faena District, the Forum provides a focal point to the neighborhood and to the mid-Beach zone at large. The ensemble of three buildings – the Faena Forum, Faena Bazaar and Parking—enrich Faena’s hotel and residential components along Collins Avenue, providing a dynamic symmetry between the district’s cultural and commercial programming across Miami Beach’s main thoroughfare.

The existing site presented three distinct conditions for the three distinct programs– a large, wedge shaped site for the Forum, a protected historic art deco hotel for the Bazaar and an empty lot allocated for parking. Although the Faena District enjoys a unique location spanning two waterfronts, the cultural components were positioned on the quieter, residential zone along Indian Creek rather than the activated Atlantic beachfront.

The Forum claims the heart of the complex by addressing this urban context with two volumes that generate distinct frontages toward Indian Creek Drive and Collins Avenue. Embedded within the residential zone west of Collins, the Forum’s cube and cylinder achieve the same intimate scale as the Bazaar and Park. The Forum’s circular plan enables the public domain to expand, activating pedestrian movement within the district. A 45-foot cantilever allows the landscaped plaza to slip under the Forum along Collins, providing a dramatic sense of arrival.

The combination of the Forum’s classical dome space with a black box theater in the main assembly space provide the ultimate flexibility for the diverse programming of Faena’s multifaceted ambitions. Combined, the full layout has the capacity for large scale events. Independently, the spaces can be divided to host distinct events, with dedicated acoustics and arrival. 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, the Forum presents a new typology for interaction, leveraging the ambiguous advantage of Faena’s redefinition of culture.