US Building of the Week
Forty Five NE 41 Street
17. October 2022
Photo: Robin Hill
Architecturally, many of the buildings in the Miami Design District scream for attention through colors, forms, and materials. RoyalByckovas's contribution to the area is an element of calm, with dark vertical fins facing 41 Street. Architects Ethan Royal and Ruslanas Byckovas answered a few questions about the project.
Location: 45 NE 41 Street, Miami, Florida, USA
Client: LNDMRK Development
- Design Principals: Ethan Royal, Ruslanas Byckovas
MEP/FP Engineer: CREDO
Landscape Architect: L&ND
Civil Engineer: Ocean Engineering
Photo: Robin HillPlease provide an overview of the project.
The Forty Five NE 41Street Building is a two story retail project situated in the heart of Miami Design District, poised between an architectural trifecta comprising the De La Cruz Art Museum, the Institute of Contemporary Art, and opposite the Museum Garage.
Photo: Robin HillHow does the design respond to the unique qualities of the site?
Due to the underlying zoning, the building was limited in height to 40 feet. Through a vigorous challenge of the Miami 21 Zoning Code parameters, a building height of 45 feet was ultimately achieved. By incorporating the additional height afforded by the parapet extension into the overall design of the facade, a taller interior space on the second floor was realized, which overall, translated to a higher quality leasing environment. From an exterior perspective, the subtle height increase ensures the building relates to the taller presence of the adjacent buildings.
Photo: Robin HillHow did the project change between the initial design stage and the completion of the building?
An idea of contradiction permeated initial ideas, settled on total darkness, a simple absence of light and color. The blackness absorbs and eliminates solar reflection, creating a facade that is restorative when measured against the eclectic tapestry of facades within the District.
Photo: Robin HillWas the project influenced by any trends in energy-conservation, construction, or design?
The south facade, divided by a sequence of black vertical fins and horizontal projections that act as a brise-soleil, reduces sunlight entering the building. In addition, the pattern and orientation of the vertical fins unsettles the conforming square proportion and scale of the building.
Photo: Robin HillWhat products or materials have contributed to the success of the completed building?
An assemblage of 96 vertical fins and exposed slabs are clad in a custom formed, Shou Sugi Ban–inspired, fiber reinforced plastic; a low maintenance material that will not fade or deteriorate in the extreme South Florida weather.
Email interview conducted by John Hill.