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ArquitectonicaGEO Team Designs Landscape for New Miami Art Museum
Landscape, view from Miami Art Museum east towards Miami Beach.

MIAMI.- Acclaimed design for new museum set to open in 2011. Powerhouse team includes award-winning architects Herzog & de Meuron, French botanist Patrick Blanc, and landscape architect Laurinda Spear of ArquitectonicaGEO.

ArquitectonicaGEO has been selected as the landscape architect for the new Miami Art Museum (MAM). According to the Miami-based firm, the design team has brought to life a highly artistic and rigorous landscape image envisioned by Herzog & de Meuron and has added significant elements of sustainable design, native plants, and a program of public artwork.

The site is four acres of land in Museum Park (formerly called Bicentennial Park), "a central element of the City of Miami's master plan for the refurbishment and renovation of the Park and the revitalization of Miami's downtown area," according to museum officials.

Located on the north side of Museum Park overlooking Biscayne Bay, the new museum includes 32,000 square feet of new galleries, and an educational complex with a library, auditorium, classrooms, cafe and shop. The extensive outdoor program centers on a terrace with a trellis roof, hanging green vegetation and a sculpture garden.

Sustainability and "vertical gardens"
Says Laurinda Spear, principal of ArquitectonicaGEO, "Our design contributes a tremendous amount to the new development in terms of sustainability and green thinking. Among the more novel ideas is a system for hanging vegetation under the terrace roof that is currently being tested for performance during hurricanes and severe weather."

ArquitectonicaGEO is now working on the hanging green vegetation with Patrick Blanc, a French botanist known for creating planted walls, and staff from the Fairchild Tropical Garden, based in Coral Gables. Together, the team is developing the best possible solution that realizes the vision of the Herzog & de Meuron team and of museum director, Terence Riley.

A vision for Miami
According to museum officials, "The new Miami Art Museum is critical to the transformation of 40 acres of abandoned waterfront property on Biscayne Bay into Museum Park, which will include lawns, public gardens, and two major museums -- MAM and the Miami Museum of Science and Planetarium, which will also host a branch of the Historical Museum of Southern Florida."

The intent of the design by ArquitectonicaGEO is to tie together Museum Park, the sculpture garden, the new museum building, and new public artworks. Margarita Blanco, Director of ArquitectonicaGEO, says, "Working with this inspired team, we have an opportunity to create a cohesive landscape that not only is sustainable but that also extends the architecture and the art of the new Miami Art Museum out to the public realm, and under the feet of Miami's citizens. The integration of the museum with the park, its sustainable architecture and planning, as well as the soaring canopy welcoming the public -- all these elements will make the new MAM a icon of the new Miami."

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