How a Miami Beach Hotel Turned an Eyesore Into a Work of Art

How a Miami Beach Hotel Turned an Eyesore Into a Work of Art
Ashley Jimenez-Gonzalez
Atop the art deco-themed Courtyard Cadillac Miami Beach Hotel was both a feast for the eyes and an eyesore. While some guests enjoyed panoramic vistas of the blue-green Atlantic, others had to endure a glistening ocean view shortstopped by the hotel's gray rooftop equipment.

But during the oceanfront hotel's recent multimillion-dollar renovation, which rechristened it as the Cadillac Hotel & Beach Club, part of Marriott's Autograph Collection, architects found an enterprising way to transform the undesirable view of the machinery into an artistic feast for the eyes. They reached out to Miami-based muralist Douglas Hoekzema and his team at Little Haiti Country Club to create a "visual solution" for the less-than-ideal architectural situation.

"The bulky equipment is necessary for the hotel to function, so we had to ask ourselves, What's the best way to make these pieces into a beautiful piece of art?" says Hoekzema, AKA Hoxxoh. "Our inspiration was drawn from classic optical illusions."

The result is truly inspired. Using a diagonal line pattern and a color scheme that complements the hotel, Hoekzema and his team have turned the machinery, via the power of brushstrokes, into a permanent art installation.

"The vibrant colors are complemented by Miami Beach's blue sky and the ocean right outside our doors. We're proud to have our own piece of Miami public art for our guests and staff to see and enjoy in a surprising way," Karan Kakar, the general manager of the hotel, says. "Miami's public art scene is such a dynamic part of the city's culture."

The renovated 70-year-old resort will reopen this spring with its preserved art deco aesthetic and new, inspiring rooftop. Reservations are accepted for stays as early as May 17.
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Jonathan Kendall is a former editor at Big Think. He studied journalism at Harvard and is a contributing writer for Miami New Times as well as for Vogue, Cultured, Los Angeles Review of Books, Smithsonian, and Atlas Obscura.
Contact: Jonathan Kendall