Remember that massive, sail-shaped casino that Malaysian gambling giant Genting wanted to build downtown before it was rejected as an all-around terrible idea?
Well, those designs now look pretty restrained next to the outlandish plans of a pair of Swedish architects. Anders Berensson and Ulf Mejergren of the firm Visiondivision want to erect a giant, semicircular casino in the waters off of Bayfront Park. By day, the glass structure will look like a humongous sun, while at night it will appear like an enormous moon.
In other words, if the Swedes get their way, Miami could soon have an artificial sun blocking out the real thing.
The project is called simply Miami Sun. Designs show a skyscraper-sized disc emerging from Biscayne Bay, reachable only by boat.
Here is the description on Visiondivision's website:
The new landmark is both a monument of the good life, as well as a landscape addition to enrich and counter balance the existing park with its already tropical landscaping.
The new monument is a thin, half sphere-shaped hotel with a casino on its lower floors and an observation deck on its upper floors, which gradually shifts its colors during the day, mimicking a dimmed sun at daytime and creating spectacular sunrises and blazing sunsets for the park at dusk and dawn. At night time it shifts to a moon.
The sun and the tropical archipelago will be a relaxed and positive monument that many people also can enjoy physically and that symbolize both the laid back way of the Miami lifestyle as well as the flamboyant decadence.
This tropical vista will attract many visitors, and the Bayfront Park will receive more people as a result, which is what this park lacks when there is not an event going on here. People will hopefully flock once again to the front porch of Miami to catch a relaxing tropical sunset or listening to house music and drinking coconut drinks on a small tropical island next to a huge moon.
To the architects' credit, they recognize that their idea is "unsentimental." They also point out that vast portions of Miami -- including Bayfront Park -- were built on artificial ground.
But when Miami is trying to develop its waterfront, and when mega-casinos have been soundly rejected, now is not the moment to screen ourselves off from the ocean with a private monstrosity passed off as some public good.
Thankfully, a quick glance at Visiondivision's website reveals a series of similarly ridiculous and mostly unrealized ideas, including a custom-built castle "where you can combine different modular towers into your very own magnum opus" and an underwater town for crayfisherman called "Cancer City."
Then again, given our $2 billion festering blister of a baseball boondoggle in Little Havana, no idea is too outlandish for our local politicians.