The Miami Beach Convention Center has a long history in the heart of Miami Beach. Centrally located near South Beach, the hall finished in 1958 and cost 4 million dollars and was originally over 100,000 square feet. It has had renovations over the decades. It receives well over 600,000 visitors yearly. Numerous types of events have taken place over its long history of this Beautiful Convention Center, from boxing events, Miss Universe pageants, the RNC & DNC National Conventions, to Auto Shows, Art Basel, Boat Shows and hundreds of others.
The Miami Beach Convention Center project, costing $620 Million dollars; was a highly complex addition and renovation of the existing center. Fentress Architects spent five years in the process and completion of their vision at the MBCC. They were tasked with creating a new convention center to attract both national and international conventions to the city of Miami Beach.
The Convention center generally brings out of town guests to participate in events at the center for 2-3 day periods. The center becomes a reflection of the city over this time. Fentress looked to the city’s culture and context for their designs. This allowed for the design to become a contextual representation of the Miami Beach community and creating its’ own unique flavor. With the addition of so much square footage, the center now exceeds 1.4 million square feet. This added a new 60,000 square foot Grand Ballroom, 129,000 square feet of new and renovated meeting rooms, two new lobbies and 800 parking spaces.
The exterior of the building was inspired by the movement of manta rays and the ocean. They wanted to bring that same element into the interior of the building. The carpets used were manufactured by Milliken in a 3x3 tile size. There are a total of four custom patterns. The first pattern is for the pre-function/public circulation areas. This pattern is one of Milliken’s standard patterns that Fentress custom colored and changed the scale of. The abstract pattern looks like receding water. The other three patterns Fentress designed themselves with Milliken. They took satellite images of oceans and water in areas around Miami Beach and created custom patterns. They also utilized the pattern of fan coral with one of the carpet patterns. Another image they used was the receding water on a beach. For the final image, they used a satellite image of water around islands and sand bars to create an abstract pattern. They chose Milliken because they wanted to create a photorealistic and abstract image of water on the carpet. Milliken offered their capability to print anything on carpet to any scale. Using black light ink, Milliken is capable of printing an “ID” on each tile. There is a floor plan with these “ID” tags on the face of each tile; which can allow for easier replacement. The installation craftsmen wore headlamps, to assist in reading each ID number.
Important to mention, was that this enormous undertaking was done while still allowing for scheduled events to take place. The finished project brought the vision Fentress Architects created to life!