Friday, January 14, 2011 at 11:04 a.m.
The unfinished New World Symphony's state-of-the-art campus sits on Miami Beach like a wrapped present on Christmas Eve. The building, designed by superstar architect Frank Gehry, has the city drooling in anticipation of its reveal. What does a building that cost $200 million to build look like?
Last night, Cultist got a first glimpse of the space, along with about 200 members of the Friends of NWS. Alas, we know you're interested in the sleek design, but since the building isn't complete, we could only take pictures that hint at the final product. Lucky for you, we also can use a little something called words to describe what we saw.
The night began with an introductory presentation by president and CEO Howard Herring and ended with free flowing Grey Goose and Vitamin Water Zero (with zero flavor. Give us some sugar, please). Patrons schmoozed and boozed in both the entryway and on the roof.
The roof: not on fire, actually very chilly.
The interior design looks like the exterior of the Bilbao Guggenheim, but deconstructed. The wide, fluid white curves make the space appear smaller than it is, but the large windows offer a feeling of expansiveness. Two sets of staircases mirror each other, and though one led to a second level overlook, the other's final destination remains a mystery. A long, undulating bar greets guests entering the building and features a blue hanging sculpture, separating this space from the rest of the room.
The bar was, of course, packed with people.
Called the "music laboratory," the performance hall appears to be shaped almost like a vertical V. The 757 seats rise steeply, creating intimacy that isn't just an illusion. Decorated in an odd, vintage looking pattern, the seats seem from a different era. The stage is made of blonde wood, the paneling on the walls is white as is the ceiling. The look is clean and almost colonial tropical.
There were musicians working in one of the practice spaces.
The NWS has plenty of events planned in the upcoming weeks. Open rehearsals for Friends members to attend start next week, a VIP celebration in the adjacent park with a public video of a performance takes place on January 25, the Opening Concert with a performance by Thomas Ades is on January 26, and for those with some extra cash, January 29 is the Grand Opening Gala.
Pulse, an adult music lounge (risque!), will include dancing to live music in the music laboratory. Visit nws.edu for more information or call 305-673-3331 for tickets. Check out the new campus on 500 17th Street, Miami Beach.
Free drinks make for good conversation.
View from one of the staircases.
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