BEST NEW BUILDING Miami 2004 - Espirito Santo Plaza
You can't help but notice Miami's newest mixed-use skyscraper rising from the Brickell Avenue concrete jungle. The Espirito Santo Plaza, designed by Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates, boasts 36 stories of office and retail space, restaurants, an 11-story atrium, a hotel, and private residences. Theoretically you could move in and never leave. But then you'd miss the experience of basking in your home's understated elegance. A graceful parabola gently guides the eyes upward and, at certain angles and times of day, creates an optical illusion: Is it concave or convex? The parabola is an architectural reference to the St. Louis Arch and serves as a symbolic welcome to Miami, gateway to Latin America. It is also a geometrically perfect wave coursing across the front of the building. In fact throughout the plaza, moving water creates a unified aesthetic theme. The tower's quiet, clean lines are welcome in a city that too often feels the need to shout in order to be noticed.