Checking in at the Ritz-Carlton Residences, Miami Beach

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Construction at one of Miami’s most unique residential developments, the Ritz-Carlton Residences, Miami Beach, is racing toward completion. Both the project’s exterior shape and structure are complete, including an expansive pool deck. Nearly all the window glazing is complete, glass balconies throughout the property are being mounted, and stuccoing and painting are both in progress. And interior finishes are beginning to take shape.

Observing the construction, even for a town as accustomed to residential buildings shooting up as Miami Beach is, has been a new experience because of just how unique the Ritz-Carlton Residences, Miami Beach is. Yes, with the Ritz-Carlton name it will undoubtedly be luxurious. Yes, it was designed by the extremely talented Piero Lissoni and is his first full-scale architectural project in the United States.

However, the Ritz-Carlton Residences, Miami Beach is an extraordinary case of a radical adaptive reuse of an older and formerly very utilitarian structure, at a significantly large scale. For many years it was a hospital. And although the bones and structure of the complex will essentially be the same, upon completion few who experience it will have any inkling of its former identity. The transformation is truly mind-boggling. Due to that unusual nature of the building, each of the project’s 111 condominium apartments comes with a unique floor plan, with enough room left over on the expansive seven-acre site to accommodate 15 single family homes, each designed from the ground up by Lissoni, and Miami-based architecture firm ADD Inc.

Due to that unusual nature of the building, each of the project’s 111 condominium apartments comes with a unique floor plan, with enough room left over on the expansive seven-acre site to accommodate 15 single family homes, each designed from the ground up by Lissoni, and Miami-based architecture firm Stantec. (previously known as ADD Inc. a name they always had trouble with, for obvious reasons) Courtyards will nestle between rambling, glassy wings. Tropical greenery will be everywhere. Breezy terraces will look out over a private marina on Miami Beach’s secluded Surprise Lake. And the ocean, glimpsed between distant buildings much less intimate and secluded than the Ritz-Carlton, Miami Beach, will shimmer just before the horizon.

By Sean McCaughan

Sean is a freelance real estate journalist and writer based in Miami Beach, and was the Founding Editor of Curbed Miami.

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