Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat

CTBUH Florida: Construction Tour of Brickell City Centre
August 30, 2016

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MIAMI – The CTBUH Florida Chapter hosted a construction tour of Brickell City Centre, a billion-dollar shopping and mixed-use project that spans up to five blocks to the west of Brickell Avenue and to the south of the Miami River, in the Brickell district of Greater Downtown Miami, Florida.

The presentation was conducted in a seminar room on the 38th level of the East Hotel, which is part of the Brickell City Centre and saw a turnout of about 40 people in all, despite the day’s inclement weather. The speakers of the event comprised key people from the developer, construction contractor, and architecture and structural engineering teams.

CTBUH Florida Co-Chair Christophe Bilaine,
Preconstruction Director, Americaribe Inc.
Video rendering of the Brickell City Centre.
The presentation started with CTBUH Florida Co-Chair Christophe Bilaine, Preconstruction Director, Americaribe Inc., briefly introducing the organization and its goals. Chris Gandolfo from Swire Properties talked about the vision behind the development of this project and transforming the urban landscape of present-day Miami. Subsequently, Damien Kolosky of Americabe Inc., explained about the joint venture formed between Americabe Inc., and Moriarty Florida, AMJV, to handle the massive construction project. The major challenges in construction of the Brickell City Centre included efficient management of supply chain, managing a workforce of around two thousand workers, construction of tunnels and bridges, as well as retrofit of the existing Metromover station, without affecting existing traffic flow. The target date for completion of the entire project is set for the third quarter of 2016. A stunning video rendering of the project was also shown to the audience, conveying the magnitude of the project and sequence of construction.
Chris Gandolfo, VP Development, Swire Properties. Damien Kolosky, Executive VP, USA, Americabe Inc.
Anne Cotter from Arquitectonica introduced the audience to the various LEED certifications earned by Brickell City Centre. She discussed the circulation planning during the construction of the project as well as the multiple layers of connectivity involved in the design. A dominant feature of the project is the Climate Ribbon, which is a unique element designed to not only provide natural sunlight and cooling effect to passers-by but also to collect rainwater. The urban shading involves the usage of 153,000 square feet (14,000 square meters) of fabric wrapped around 297 specially designed blades, topped with high-performance fritted glass. Another design item highlighted during the presentation was the feature “cheese wall.”
Anne Cotter, Vice President, Arquitectonica. Steven E McCray, Senior Engineer, Magnusson Klemencic Associates.

Steven E McCray from Magnusson Klemencic Associates described the structural design aspects of the slim East hotel building, which stands 516 feet (157 meters) tall and has an aspect ratio of 10:1. The positioning of balconies in the building were suggested to help the lateral resisting system of the structure, along with the outrigger truss system in place. The design of the Climate Ribbon involved a concept pitched by Hugh Dutton and Design-Build/Contractors from Josef Gartner. The structure of the Ribbon itself includes multiple framing systems like space frame, cable net, diagonal grid, and a three-dimensional truss with built-up box beam purlins, amounting to roughly 1000 tons of steel.

The event ended with a construction tour of the facilities level, a demo hotel room, and the climate ribbon.

View of the Climate Ribbon.