Designed by the Dutch urban design & landscape architecture firm West 8, Miami Beach SoundScape is a new 3-acre urban park in the cultural and civic heart of downtown Miami Beach.
Capturing the spirit and vitality of Miami Beach, it is a flexible, multi-use space adjacent to the new Frank Gehry-designed New World Center, and serves as both an urban oasis and a gathering place for cultural and special events.
In 2009, West 8’s winning design for Lincoln Park was unanimously chosen by the Miami Beach Commission. The park is part of the New World Symphony Campus, which includes a concert hall and a conservatory where young talent coming to study and perform.
Lincoln Park is a new meeting place in town. Centrally located in the Art District at the monumental terminus of lively Lincoln Road, the park has multiple functions. During the day the park is shaded by pergolas and palm trees. In the evening it is a cultural hotspot, one of the special attractions of the park being a video and sound installation - projecting concerts and video art on building’s 700m² wall, which serves as an outdoor screen for the park. The park is an urban garden that expresses the euphoria of Miami, and will be actively programmed for public and cultural events.
Miami Beach SoundScape Components:
Miami Beach SoundScape provides an enormous opportunity to combine art, technology and landscape into a totally new experience for Miami Beach residents and visitors. The parks West 8 designed projection tower will utilize the New World Center’s projection wall to feature works by video and projection artists; programming presented by the New World Symphony and local cultural institutions; and movie screenings. By day the space serves as a beautifully designed setting for relaxing, enjoying occasional music and cultural events, and meeting friends.
Visitors circulate through Miami Beach SoundScape along a mosaic network of interlacing pathways of varying widths, designed to support the experience of changing views and microspaces.
Miami Beach SoundScape’s pathways are integrally connected to the surrounding “frame” of paving for New World Center where bicycle circulation will be primarily organized. A secondary network of white-colored concrete walkways reinforces the shapes of the grass patches. All pathways are ADA accessible.
Topography and Seating:
Built on the site of a former parking lot, Miami Beach SoundScape’s design modified the existing topography to create an unfolding, undulating sequence of spaces. Beyond the functional role of providing adequate drainage, the topography, combined with the circulation and planting, contributes significantly to the character of the space and is intended to create the feeling of a space larger than its actual size. Subtle undulation maximizes the sense of anticipation as one walks through the site, capturing views of New World Center; ultimately arriving at the Mary and Howard Frank Plaza, and creates spaces for both intimate and larger gatherings.
The design combines grading with undulating walls that also provide opportunities for seating. These periodically encountered seats are carefully integrated into the wall with respect to sightlines, gathering areas and pedestrian nodes. The white concrete seating is sculpted and designed for comfort and durability.
The tropical climate and long growing season of Miami Beach provide exciting opportunities to showcase planting at Miami Beach SoundScape, and to create a sense of intimacy in the space. The planting design is guided by the following principles:
- Provide a palette to withstand challenging environmental conditions
- Provide ample shade – both dappled shade from groups of palm trees and deeper shade from larger deciduous trees
- Create unity with the planting around New World Center
- Punctuate the space with bold color, including flowering vines and trees
- Provide soft lawn surfaces for flexible programming and event use
- Provide planting veils that create a conceal-and-reveal experience complementing and framing New World Center
Plant more densely along the edges at 17th Street and Washington Avenue to provide enclosure and mitigate off-site activities.
The iconic pergolas are welcoming gateways and shade structures at Miami Beach SoundScape’s entrances. Three groups of pergolas reach into the space, inviting people to access the interior spaces.
These West 8 designed custom features are a sculptural abstraction of the fluffy cumulus clouds inherent to Miami Beach. Each pergola is composed of metal and be capable of withstanding South Florida weather. Flowering vines reach from the base to the edges, reinforcing the parks points of entry and providing a burst of color and shade.
Lighting and Sound:
Lighting and audio equipment have been integrated in a subtle, functional way throughout the space. Designed to complement the lighting scheme of New World Center, slender light poles around entrances and primary pathways fade away amongst the vegetation leaving only a “moonlight” experience.
The main components of the AV equipment include four projectors, cleverly housed and protected in a climate-controlled Projection Tower, audio equipment surrounding the primary viewing area and a secondary sound system for other areas.
Miami Beach SoundScape provides accessories that support day-to-day activities, including: an ADA accessible rest room, bicycle racks, drinking fountain, trash and recycling receptacles, and dog-bag dispensers.
Client: City of Miami Beach
Total size: 3,200 square feet or 3.05 acres
Dimensions: 370 feet x 360 feet
Planting information: Plants used: Veitchia and Hurricane Palms, Live Oak, Royal Poincianas (yellow cultivar), Bougainvillea, Celebration Bermuda Turf
Prime Consultant / Lead Landscape Architect: West 8, New York, NY
Team: Adriaan Geuze, Design Director / Principal; Jamie Maslyn Larson, Principal; Blair Guppy, Project Manager; Rachel Laszlo Tait, Job Captain; Claire Agre; Blair Guppy; Karsten Buchholz; Joris Weijts; Gaspard Estourgie; Perry Maas; Ronald van Nugteren, Matthew Skjonsberg
See more photos of the newly opened park in the image gallery below. All images coyrtesy of West 8 urban design & landscape architecture.
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