Although Alberto Campo Baeza has taken on a modest number of North American commissions in the recent past, a just-green-lit office building in Miami Beach will mark the highly decorated Spanish architect’s first-ever commercial project in the United States.
The project, which was first revealed last fall when only a model of the mid-rise office building was shared with the public, cleared a major milestone this week when it received unanimous design approval from the City of Miami Beach’s Historic Preservation Board. As noted in a press release disseminated by the project developers—a joint team comprised of Sumaida + Khurana and Bizzi & Partners—construction work is expected to begin “imminently” at a site located near the entrance to the MacArthur Causeway at the corner of Michigan Avenue and busy Fifth Street in South Beach.
As reported by The Real Deal last October, the developers, both headquartered in New York, purchased two adjacent lots on the northern edge of the affluent South of Fifth neighborhood for a combined $8.9 million in June, 2021. An update to The Real Deal’s original reporting noted that the building underwent a considerable redesign after it was first announced last year, and that an existing historic structure on the property will be preserved in lieu of razed, as was originally planned.
Dubbed THE FIFTH MIAMI BEACH, Campo Baeza’s inaugural stateside office building is a relatively squat, squared affair described by the project team as being akin to an “exquisite jewel box, wrapped in glass, white marble and white concrete.” Rising five floors, the LEED-certified boutique office complex will feature numerous elements that meld its interior spaces with the outdoors. These features include a tenants-only landscaped rooftop offering expansive views, spacious private terraces encircling each floor, and a soaring open-air atrium at the center of the structure that “opens up all of the offices to a dramatic experience of light, air, and outdoor space.”
The Class A office-dedicated floors will feature flexible floor plans, 14-foot-high ceilings, and floor-to-ceiling windows; an advanced air quality and filtration system keeping things breezy and clean throughout. A fitness center and spa, valet parking, and several food and beverage options rounding out the onsite amenities.
Alessandro Pallaoro, managing director of Bizzi & Partners, explained that the project is “focused on both work and well-being by incorporating extensive wellness amenities within an architectural masterpiece designed by one of the world’s great master architects, Alberto Campo Baeza.”
“The pandemic has completely changed the relationship between employees and the built office environment,” Pallaoro added. “With THE FIFTH MIAMI BEACH, we have an exciting opportunity to set a new benchmark for modern office development.”
Rounding out the project team is Gabellini Sheppard Associates, which has been tapped to design the building’s interiors, Cube 3 in the role of executive architect, and Miami-based Urban Robot Associates as landscape architect. Cushman & Wakefield is helming the leasing efforts.
The 2021 recipient of Spain’s National Prize for Architecture, Campo Baeza has designed commercial office buildings back in Europe but is primarily known for his pointedly minimalist residential work including include Madrid’s Turégano House, Rufo House in Toledo, Moliner House in Zaragoza, and Gaspar House in Cádiz. High-profile cultural commissions include the BIT Center in Inca-Mallorca and the Museum of Memory of Andalucía in Granada. Campo Baeza is also an esteemed academic, having taught and lectured at myriad institutions around the globe. From 1986 to 2017, he served as a full-time professor at the Architecture School of the Technical University of Madrid (ETSAM). He now holds the title of Emeritus Head Professor of Design at ETSAM.