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