In the last four years, DawnTown’s annual ideas competitions have attracted designers from around the world to present new and creative possibilities for Miami. Now in its fifth year, one design team will be turning their idea into a reality thanks to the DawnTown Design/Build competition. Over 110 teams made up of architects, artists, landscape designers, engineers and others, submitted portfolios from around the world to compete in the creation of a low cost, temporary installation on the topic of Evolution in Miami. Only 16 teams were announced as finalists, each presenting their own interpretation of the main topic. The international collaboration between Manuel Clavel-Rojo (Murcia, Spain) and Jacob Brillhart (Miami, FL) has been tasked to present their design to the public in the next 30 days.

Up-Downtown is the title of the project, which Rojo defines as a metaphor for Miami, “A city is a complex machine, where everything is interconnected and any movement affects the other.” This concept is taken literally to present an interactive story of Miami’s rise. Miami is not a city that has developed steadily over time, but instead has had rapid growth spurts in generally short periods. The most interesting thing about Up-Downtown is how that intelligently that fact has been captured.

The installation is a 10’ x 10’ x 10’ box structure using steel for supports. A mirror sits at its base, with blue and pink neon lights representing the water’s edge and roadways, creating a perimeter of the downtown area. Through an analysis of building footprints and roadways, the design team created a system of wires that map out important buildings from Miami’s past, present, and future above the base. The wires are then assembled into a system of counterweights and pulleys which link to different flat planes that sit on top of the bed of wires. Once assembled, participants can interact with the installation by pulling on different wires, watching these flat planes extrude and form the outline of the different high rises around downtown Miami. Rojo goes on to state that “downtown needed people to become what it is now”, and without the interaction the installation lays dormant, waiting to be explored. The design is very clever, as it holds a didactic quality that can appeal to adults and children alike.

The installation will be setup at HistoryMiami in early March, and taken down in May, with the possibility of traveling to different sites in and around the city. The grand opening celebration will be announced through DawnTown’s and HistoryMiami’s respective websites and social media outlets. The DawnTown Design Build Competition is made possible by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, HisotryMiami, and the Miami Downtown Development Authority

We would like to thank all the finalists for submitting excellent work.  The jury was one of the longer juries we had ever had and there was much debate over the projects.  As we stated before, the competition did have a “winner-take-all” prize and originally we were not going to award any other mentions.  However, we have decided to take the time and give special distinction  ( Honorable Mention ) out of the field of 16.  We were very impressed with the Los Angeles based team known as SPORTS, consisting of Molly Hunker and Greg Corso.  Below is their entry.  We will be listing all the entries shortly online, and then on flickr.


About dawntownmiami

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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