The building is located along the railroad tracks and Old Dixie Highway in a small town only a ½ mile walk from the Atlantic Ocean in South Florida. We are reluctantly tearing down a 75-year old building but it is unable to be restored. In its place we are proposing a modern structure familiar to the original in massing and scale. The building will be mixed use: retail, commercial and possibly residential.
We have completed two versions; the first is an intervention to the original building. The second is a completely new vision, inspired by the program as well as the existing context.
Conceptually, the first version is comprised of two distinct looking volumes; the plain, main volume is a “seed pod”, and the smaller, wriggling shape a “sprout,"--a metaphor of the company itself.
Viewed from the street this main volume mimics massing of the existing building and attempts to quietly replicate this deteriorated structure. The casual observer would notice people using the rooftop garden as perhaps the only real change. This modest street face is designed as a foil, as one discovers pulling into the rear. Rather than tracing the sun’s path, the addition, the expressive sprout, is fully covered in indigenous plants that harvest sunlight for their vitality. This piece is a play on a full third floor turned on end and inserted into the ground and onto the 2 story building.
The second scheme envisions two “L-shaped” levels flipped opposite each other, creating a square central courtyard defined by the two partial floors. The upper level houses office space and is distanced from the sounds of the occasional train. The lower level houses retail space and responds to the shops flanking it up and down the street.