Jade Signature
Sunny Isles Beach, Florida, USA
Project 2012-2014, realization 2014-2018

A tower on the beach
Jade Signature is a tower on the beach. Like the great Miami hotels we have come to admire, it is a building rooted directly in the landscape and the city around it. Interior and exterior are seamlessly bound together. The street connects to the lobby, the lobby overlooks the pool, and the pool is on the beach. With its car park located below ground, Jade stands in contrast to the wall of parking plinths that usually form a barrier between the city and the beach. Instead, it puts the relationship with nature and the environment at the core of this project.

The overall form is quiet. Its volume is oriented to maximize the sun exposure on the beach. The resulting plan is a parallelogram that allows the western sun to have an extended presence on the beachside landscape. The tower is tapered from bottom to top on its East and West facades. The reduced depth at the top of the building increases the visual connection between the two primary exposures in the through-units while the increased depth at the bottom provides additional area for more units to be in close proximity to the ground and beach.

In this tower, the details provide the architectural identity. The exterior of Jade expresses the inner structure of the residential units. Slabs articulate the individual floors and extend each unit’s livable area to include expansive terraces – in total 30% of the inside floor area. Windows are recessed to reduce their visual impact. We did not want to create another “glass tower”. Walls spanning from East to West provide living spaces with simultaneous views of both horizons. These walls are shaped to respond to their particular position between apartments, bedrooms or within deep terraces. Their curved geometries are a result of their role. They either connect or separate areas within and between flats. Seen together, the walls and slabs create a fine texture and give depth to the facade.

True through units provide optimal natural ventilation during the winter months when most people are visiting and humidity is at a minimum. These simple but often overlooked methods provide each owner with the option to cool their units in an environmentally and economically conscious manner. Wall orientation and extensive slabs provide a sustainable approach to the cooling needs of a South Florida residence. With its large overhangs, the slabs reach out to provide adequate shade from the harsh tropical sun. Heat gain on the facade is minimized and cooling loads are reduced. The walls and columns reach directly to the ground. Jade Signature lands in a garden with a pool directly on the beach. Shared program, the lobby, a restaurant and spa among them, are placed in a curved ribbon weaving through the structure. The ribbon moves from inside to out forming an exterior car drop-off on the West and beachfront pavilion on the East. A curved ramp draws the cars up from Collins Avenue to a lobby with open views over the pool and the beach beyond. Interior geometries reflect the curvilinear forms of the exterior while creating intimate shared space. The sinuous forms of the lower three floors connect the tower to the geometries of the landscape surrounding the tower.
Herzog & de Meuron, 2013


“Jade Signature is very much about bringing the structure to the fore, so glass is protected from the sun and the heat and large terraces are provided throughout. That is what really works well in the Miami climate. The project uses structure in the most basic way, a structure that you have anyway, and turns it into something sculptural. This sculptural effect is not decorative; it comes from a combination of desired views and necessary visual protection. It is almost like an alphabet that we developed for the building: which wall can do what, which slab can do what, which column can do what. The structure is the architecture.”



This project was developed in collaboration with an architect licensed in the state of Florida acting as the "Architect of Record". Herzog & de Meuron is not licensed to practice architecture in the state of Florida.

Herzog & de Meuron Team:
Partners: Jacques Herzog, Pierre de Meuron, Christine Binswanger, Jason Frantzen (Partner in Charge)
Project Team: Raymond Jr.Gaëtan (Associate), Alfonso Miguel Caballero (Project Manager)
Santiago Espitia, Claire Gamet, Gray Garmon, Pauline Gaulard, Billy Guidoni, Luis Guzmán Grossberger, Shusuke Inoue, Sara Jiménez Nuñez, Clément Thomas Mathieu, Amanda Hope Sachs Mangold, André Vergueiro, Tali Shoavi, Matthew Oravec, Ryan Cole

Client: Sunny Isles Beach Associates, LLC

Design Consultant: Herzog & de Meuron, Basel, Switzerland
Executive Architect: Add Inc., Miami, USA
Electrical, Mechanical, Plumbing Engineering: Edwards & Zuck, Miami, USA
Interior Design: PYR, Pierre-Yves Rochon, Paris, France
Landscape Design: Raymond Jungles, Inc, Miami, USA
Structural Engineering: McNamara/Salvia, Inc., Miami, USA
General Contractor: Suffolk Construction, West Palm Beach, USA

Civil Engineering: VSN Engineering, Miami, USA
Geotechnical Consultant: KACO, Miami, USA
Lighting Consultant: Revolver Design, Berkeley, USA
Fire Protection: SLS Fire Protection Engineering, Miami, USA

Building Data:
Site Area: 108'333sqft / 10'064sqm
Gross Floor Area: 1'306'650sqft / 121'392sqm
Footprint: 30'800sqft / 2'861sqm
Building Dimensions: Length 200ft / 61m; Width 97ft / 30m; Height 649ft / 198m



Luis Fernández-Galiano (Ed.):  Arquitectura Viva Monografias. Herzog & de Meuron 2013-2017.

Vol. No. 191-192, Madrid, Arquitectura Viva SL, 12.2016.