Miami Courtyard Hotel and Convention Center (Mixed Use Hotel Tower)

Situated on a quarter acre site, this 32-story mixed use tower contains 269 hotel guestrooms, meeting and event spaces, F&B outlets, four floors of leasable office space, and an outdoor pool and leisure spaces. The project’s integration with the surrounding context responds to the site and neighboring buildings while offering an exceptional hotel guest experience. Floor-to-ceiling glass and terraces provide sweeping views of Miami’s South Beach and downtown from various spaces and vistas on multiple elevated levels throughout the tower.

Design Challenge

The constraints of the small corner site and incorporating multiple distinct program components within the tower volume presented several design challenges on this project. The building footprint, quite square in shape, encompasses the majority of the site. In order to maximize this footprint, the curve of the street along the prominent corner is expressed in the building form, creating a unique curved glass facade. The overall form of the building can be described as having a heavier base or “podium”, with a slender glass tower that ascends from this base. The repetition of program elements on stacked floors is pleasantly broken by erosions in the façade as elevated decks and terraces are introduced. The largest erosion exists at the pool deck, bar, and associated event space on the 9th floor, which separates the tower from the base while providing an exterior environment for guests to enjoy and take full advantage of Miami’s tropical climate. With limited area at street level, the lobby experiences for the various programmatic components are instead stacked vertically throughout the tower. The ground floor, occupied primarily by back-of-house, loading, and circulation spaces, serves as a portal which offers visitors several unique paths through the building. A dramatic, curving grand staircase sweeps along the façade to connect guests to the ballroom pre-function on the second level. Separate elevator banks connect office tenants directly to their leased spaces or transport hotel guests to a double-height Sky Lobby on the 11th floor for an incredible check-in experience.

Physical Context

Although the footprint extends to cover most of the site, at the Street Level the walls are set back, creating a broad colonnade. This allows for a gracious and inviting pedestrian zone and helps to break the scale of the building down to be more pedestrian friendly. Beyond the colonnade, the “jump” lobby has a floor-to-ceiling glass facade and is dramatically double height with warm wall finishes. This lobby faces the primary corner with interesting lighting, and becomes an important part of the ground level façade. The north side of the podium is sprinkled with planters and a green wall which abuts and relates to the garden of the adjacent historic church. The planting design creates interest on the back of house facade, which softens the appearance to the public while providing benefits such as improved energy efficiency. The large portion of green roof located mid-tower makes the most of a zoning-required setback and resulting difficult-to-access roof area, and provides a unique opportunity to introduce more trees. The blue tones of the reflective glass blend with the sky and water in this coastal environment. Set within white stucco walls, the colors are reminiscent of Miami Architecture while the overall composition, lack of continuous balconies, and composed erosions to the massing create a unique tower within the city. Together with the palms and other native flora added to the building planters, the overall aesthetic is tropical yet modern in its simplistic approach.