October 31st, 2015 5:45 PM by Nour Ailan
Miami Innovation Tower is a kinetic sculpture proposed as a new icon
for the city of Miami and a major public entry-point into the creative
life of the Miami Innovation District at 1031 NW First Avenue. With its
fully-integrated active skin—a global first—the Miami Innovation Tower
celebrates the unique flavor and vitality of Miami and announces its
arrival as a world-class center for information technologies.
architecture of the tower is inspired by a variety of forms associated
with the identity of the city, ranging from contemporary sculpture and
fashion to the taught, wing-like, graphics-covered sails of modern
racing sailboats—an homage to nearby Biscayne Bay. The lighting, too, is
intended as a continuation of the tradition of building illumination
that Miami has taken to a high art.
of the tower’s displays will include public service announcements,
updates from companies within the district, video art, as well as
advertising which, in addition to generating significant revenue for the
community, will become art itself as creative directors customize their
messages to the special possibilities and parameters of the tower’s
unique active skin.
Unlike traditional billboard
signage, the mesh-like messaging technologies are in fact integrated
completely into the complex, pleated form of the tower’s exterior. The
result is an ethereal, highly-transparent surface, open to the slender
concrete tower core and views of the city and the sky beyond.
the Miami Innovation District as a whole, this Digital Age landmark is
also a responsible neighbor. At ground level, a public plaza and
amphitheater will host cultural events for all comers, as well as
providing an inspiring setting for retail. As it rises, the tower hosts
several observation decks, one of which, a garden in the sky, will also
serve as a demonstration site for the installation of environmental
technologies. Two restaurants complete the Tower’s program.
addition to drawing visitors to the local Park West streets, these
programs will drive sustainable economic growth to the nearby Overtown
historic community. They will create employment opportunities—a
percentage of which are reserved through agreement with the city for
job-seekers from a local labor pool. In addition, a significant
proportion of revenue generated by the tower’s signage will be channeled
every year to the support of the local community. All of these
community benefits are vitally important to the developer, Michael
Simkins, whose family presence and philanthropy in Miami span decades.
and responsible, inventive and original, rooted in the traditions of
the local community even as it marks its place in global culture, the
Miami Innovation Tower signals to the world that Miami is holding on to
its special flare even as it catches and rides the coming high-tech