Location: Miami, FL
Client: The Related Group
Architect: Cohen, Freedman, Encinosa
Photo Credit: Cohen, Freedman, Encinosa
The sophisticated innovations are often brought about by combining existing and uncomplicated techniques to achieve a genuinely elegant solution.
After successfully completing the Loft 1 building, the owners were ready to begin developing two additional properties that were bisected by the Miami Metromover, an elevated downtown transportation system. It was evident to our engineering team that the slenderness of two independent towers that would need to resist strong hurricane winds would substantially limit the height that each building could reach. In addition, the required setbacks would result in the loss of valuable usable area therefore reducing the amount of saleable units. They suggested building a single, much larger building by creating a structure that would bridge over the 70 foot wide space occupied by the Metromover.
The developers were concerned that a “transfer beam system” required to support such a structure would not only be extremely expensive but very difficult to erect over the track lines. This was, after all, an “affordable” apartment building with budgetary constraints.
We explained that a transfer beam system was unnecessary and that our solution would be uncomplicated as well as economical. We designed a work platform that would protect the Metromover while at the same time allowing for a largely conventional erection of the structure.
Our firm was able to substantiate the feasibility of such a system by presenting a solution based on the use of a combination of sloping columns at the façades and two pseudo-vier end eel truss elements bordering the interior hallways of the first two floors of apartments. A prestressed, precast platform spanning the Metromover would make this construction possible.
This straightforward solution to a difficult challenge delivered a structure equal in cost to that of a structure that would have been conventionally erected on an unobstructed site. More significantly, the solution allowed for a taller 35-story building to be erected with a much larger inventory of saleable units.