Building Bacardi at the Coral Gables Museum

Our new competition, LANDMARK MIAMI, is about finding the new iconic symbol for the city of Miami.  In no way do we wish to replace our local landmarks, but instead compliment them by adding a new one.  It will be interesting to see what types of designs are presented that are based on capturing what Miami is about today.  One of our older landmarks, The Bacardi Building, is the subject of an exhibit at the Coral Gables Museum.  Recently, the building was purchased by the non-profit The National YoungArts Foundation for their new headquarters. I went to the museum this past Friday to gain more insight on the building itself, and was pleasantly surprised that the exhibit covers much more than that.
Leading the tour was the curator of the show is Allan Shulman FAIA, a prominent Miami architect who is also a professor of architecture and president of the AIA Miami chapter.  Shulman, who is also one of our jury members for LANDMARK MIAMI, spoke eloquently about the Bacardi company’s history through an architectural perspective.  There are many drawings, and photographs of proposed and realized buildings for the company and it’s patrons.  The works of Phillip Johnson, Felix Candela, Mies Van der Rohe and other notable architects are spread out through the Museum’s grand exhibiton hall.  It was interesting to note how the styles of the time  (1930’s-1960’s) and vision of the company’s executives influenced the design of many of the buildings throughout the Caribbean and Latin America.  Also included in the exhibit are 3D printed replicas of bottling factories, houses, and other buildings that compliment the architect drawings on the walls.  The exhibit lasts until February 17th, so there’s still time to see it.  Here is the information on the exhibit from the museum:Building Bacardi:

Building Bacardi: Architecture, Art & Identity tells the story of a company’s extraordinary development over a century and a half through the lens of the architecture and art it has commissioned and championed. Founded in Santiago de Cuba in 1862, Bacardi rose from simple beginnings as a regional rum distiller to become a global industry. By the early 20th century, as it acquired wealth and prestige during the consolidation of the Cuban Republic, the company began to attach symbolic and cultural importance to its building activity. Bacardi commissioned major works that reinforced its identity as an iconic Cuban brand and nurtured an emergent position as a serious patron of the arts. The 1930 Edificio Bacardi, an Art Deco tower in the heart of the Cuban capital, was an important marker of this early patronage. Over the next 50 years, as the company accelerated its expansion, both in Cuba and overseas, Bacardi deployed a remarkable range of architectural and artistic strategies to establish itself as a modern multinational corporation.”

Below are some images taken from Friday’s event.

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The annual public international architecture ideas competition for Downtown Miami! Also architecture and urban planning events in Miami throughout the year.
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