Miami Living Magazine

Saje Nicole

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Where does Miami’s Cityscape go from here? The View From Top Architect Germane Barnes By Eden Herbstman | Images courtesy of ​​Studio Barnes The American writer Joan Didion, known for her stylish reportage on social and political rhetoric, once said what the city of Miami looked like to her. “Meanwhile the construction cranes still hovered on the famous new skyline, which, floating as it did between a mangrove swamp and a barrier reef, had a kind of perilous attraction, like a mirage.” Didion’s sharp observational eye, keenly woven into her documentation of the political and economical strives of 1980’s Miami, eerily rings true today. The construction cranes are still here, skylines have altered, and new architecturally driven tourist attractions have sprung up; queue the Design District and Brickell City Centre. It feels, sometimes, like all of this change happened in the blink of an eye. As evidenced by Didion’s own account, or anyone commuting in the Miami of today, all this construction has become normalized. The never-ending construction sites are simply part of the Miami landscape, perhaps the only visual eyesore against sun-drenched picturesque backdrops. Is this a sign of progress, or something else? Miami is a city that is constantly “re-branding,” and difficult to summarize. It can be fast, and also slow, simultaneously. An island time sense of urgency coupled with an adrenaline rush enthusiasm to become purveyors of the future. Attracting itself as Silicon Valley of the Sunshine State, welcoming tech industry Titans with open arms, and establishing itself as leaders into the Bitcoin frontier. While Miami attempts to find its place within the hub of tech and finance, the city’s artistic presence remains vital. The “new skyline” through Didion’s eyes in the late 80’s is an even newer skyline today. And will continue to renew and change in years to come. But what are the architectural stakes for the city of Miami?

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