ReefLine Sculpture Park, Miami Beach Underwater Public Design, Florida Architecture News
ReefLine Sculpture Park in Miami Beach
Jan 3, 2022
Location: Miami Beach, FL, United States of America
images courtesy of architects practice
Ocean Drive Apartment
– In Collaboration with Coral Morphologic and University of Miami Researchers and supported by the City of Miami Beach The ReefLine will function as an artificial reef to protect and preserve Miami’s marine life and costal resilience.
The ReefLine will be a new 7-mile underwater public sculpture park, snorkel trail and artificial reef located off Miami Beach’s shoreline. The large-scale environmental public art project has been conceived by cultural placemaker Ximena Caminos, who will serve as the project’s Artistic director. Led by Shohei Shigematsu, OMA will design the ReefLine’s masterplan as well as a distinct sculpture within it, collaborating with a team of expert marine biologists, researchers, architects and costal engineers.
The ReefLine will provide a critical habitat for endangered reef organisms, promoting biodiversity and enhancing coastal resilience. For the masterplan, OMA has designed a geometric, concrete modular unit that can be deployed and stacked from South Beach to the north, following the topography of the sea bed. The living breakwater is the connective tissue for the overall masterplan and will be punctuated by a series of site-specific installations.
The project will be completed in phases, with the first mile slated to open December 2021—the first phase will open with permanent installations by Argentine conceptual artist Leandro Erlich (b. 1973) and Shohei Shigematsu/OMA. Artists Ernesto Neto (b. 1964, Brazil) and Agustina Woodgate (b. 1981, Argentina) have been tapped for subsequent commissions.
Erlich will create an underwater incarnation of his popular sand-sculpted “traffic jam”, which was commissioned by the City of Miami Beach during Art Week Miami Beach 2019. Titled Concrete Coral, the site-specific installation will reframe cars and trucks—a symbol of the emissions that endanger our planet—as new vehicles for environmental change.
OMA/Shigematsu’s sculpture explores the nature of weightlessness underwater. The stair, a rudimentary architecture element suggestive of directionality and movement, is taken out of its usual context and transformed into an underwater folly. Like the circular formation of the atoll, a series of sinuous spiral stairs create a three-dimensional structure reminiscent of marine life. The organic form provides layered zones for coral reef growth and interstitial spaces for exploration. The stairs rotate around a central forum for underwater gathering and activities.
Shohei Shigematsu, OMA Partner, said: “We are excited to collaborate again with Ximena on a project that brings together culture and community. The ReefLine is unique because it brings attention to and mitigates the dangers of climate change in Miami, while simultaneously enriching the city’s vivid art scene. We look forward to working with the diverse group of experts and professionals on our first underwater cultural masterplan and sculpture.”
Ximena Caminos, said: “This series of artist-designed and scientist-informed artificial reefs will demonstrate to the world how tourism, artistic expression, and the creation critical habitat can be aligned. The ReefLine is a singular investment in civic infrastructure, public art and environmental protection that will pay dividends over the coming decades and attract ecologically-minded tourists and art lovers to Miami.”
The ReefLine was conceived by BlueLab Preservation Society and Coral Morphologic and will be developed in collaboration with the City of Miami Beach and researchers from University of Miami.
The project received concept funding and support from the Knight Foundation’s Art Challenge Award 2019 and a Blavatnik Family Foundation grant, as well as endorsement from the XPRIZE Foundation.
The project was designed by Partner Shohei Shigematsu with Associate Christy Cheng and OMA
About Bluelab Preservation Society
BlueLab Preservation Society is a 501c3 with a focus on building positive impact to help address water pollution, climate change, environmental and social issues. Led by its Chair Ximena Caminos, and Vice Chair Kate Fleming of environmental-art organization Bridge Initiative, the Blue Lab Preservation Society employs art, science, culture and design as galvanizing channels for its sustainability program.
BlueLab develops responsive strategies and solutions with a core mission to educate and inspire global environmental action by directing funds raised through philanthropy towards innovative projects (domestic and worldwide) that seek to restore, reinforce, and protect coastal marine ecosystems, rivers, and lakes.
About Ximena Caminos
A cultural entrepreneur Ximena Caminos is known for her post-disciplinary approach that bridges culture, community-building, urban development, and placemaking. She was appointed artistic visionary planner for The Underline, the largest public art project in the United States.
Caminos is the founder of the cross-disciplinary cultural platform HoneyLab as well as the founder and chair of Blue Lab Preservation Society, a non-profit dedicated to educating and inspiring global environmental action. Caminos is also the former artistic director and chair of Faena Art and Partner and CCO of the multi-award-winning Faena Group. She is a member of the New Museum Leadership Council, a founding member of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum’s Latin American Circle Partner, board member of Art Basel Cities and recipient of Knight Foundation Arts Champion Award.
About Leandro Elrich
Leandro Erlich was born in Argentina in 1973. He lives and works in Buenos Aires and Montevideo. Over the past two decades, his work has been shown internationally and has been featured in permanent museum collections and private collections.
He enjoys particular renown in Asia, with his most recent exhibitions at the MORI Art Museum (Tokyo, 2017) and the HOW Art Museum (Shanghai, 2018) attracting hundreds of thousands of visitors. In 2019, the artist opened LIMINAL, a major anthological exhibition at MALBA (Buenos Aires) and became the first non-Chinese artist to occupy the entire exhibition space at the CAFAM (Central Academy of Fine Arts, Beijing), China’s premiere museum, with the show The Confines of The Great Void.
About OMA New York/shohei Shigematsu
Established in 2001, OMA New York is responsible for OMA’s operations in the Americas and has since overseen the successful completion of several buildings across the country, including Milstein Hall at Cornell University (2011); the Wyly Theater in Dallas (2009); the Seattle Central Library (2004); and Prada’s Epicenter in New York (2001).
Most recently the office has completed the Faena Forum, a multi-purpose cultural venue in Miami Beach (2016); the Pierre Lassonde Pavilion, an extension to the Quebec National Museum (2016); Manus x Machina: Fashion in the age of Technology, an exhibition for the Metropolitan Museum of Art (2016); an exhibition in collaboration with artist Taryn Simon at the Park Avenue Armory (2016); an exhibition design for Dior’s first US retrospective at the Denver Art Museum (2018); and the renovation of Sotheby’s Headquarters in New York (2018).
Shohei Shigematsu is a Partner at OMA and has led the firm’s diverse portfolio in the Americas for over the last decade. His engagements in fashion include Coach Omotesando Flagship in Tokyo as well as exhibition designs for Prada, Dior and the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute.
Sho has successfully seen the completion of the Faena Forum in Miami, an extension to the National Art Museum of Quebec and the renovation of Sotheby’s Headquarters in New York. He is currently leading the design of New Museum extension on Bowery in New York, an extension to the Albright-Knox Art Gallery in Buffalo and an event space for the Wilshire Boulevard Temple in Los Angeles.
Sho has also designed exhibitions for the Venice Architecture Biennale, Denver Art Museum, Dallas Museum of Art and the Park Avenue Armory. For more information, please visit www.oma.com or find us on social media – Facebook (OMAAMO) and Instagram (@OMANewYork)
ReefLine Sculpture Park in Miami Beach, Florida – Building Information
Architecture and Interiors: mwworks – https://www.mwworks.com/
Artistic Director & Founder: Ximena Caminos
Master Planner: Shoehei Shigemastu/OMA
Curatorial Advisors: Brandi Reddick, Cultural Affairs Manager, City of Miami Beach and Jérôme Sanz, Independent Curator
Katherine Fleming, Founder and Executive Director, Bridge Initiative
Colin Foord, Marine biologist and Founder, Coral Morphologic
Brian K. Haus, Professor and Chair of the Ocean Sciences Department, University of Miami
Diego Lirman, Ph.D., Associate Professor, University of Miami
Tori Linder, Program Director + Impact Producer, Path of the Panther
LandolfRhode-Barbarigos, Assistant Professor, Department of Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering, University of
Miami Elizabeth Wheaton, Environment & Sustainability Department, City of Miami Beach
ReefLine Sculpture Park, Miami Beach images / information received 030122 from Dutch architects OMA
Location: Miami Beach, Florida, United States of America
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