Art Deco Fairwind Hotel Renovation Gettin’ Close to Completion

The Fairwind Hotel, which upon completion will be a collection of restored art deco, postwar modern, and contemporary buildings clustered around an open central court, and which has been in the works for, like, over ten years, is finally nearing completion in South Beach.

Historically the art deco building behind the Wolfsonian Museum, on 10th Street and Collins Avenue was know as the Fairmont Hotel, but in contemporary times tactfully renamed the Fairwind so as not to cause legal issues with that other Fairmont. How polite. Designed by Shulman+Associates, the project was put on hold when Miami’s last real estate bubble started to soften, leaving the three historic buildings as empty, practically blasted out shells for years while the Great Recession raged on and the market began to recover. Finally construction resumed/began and now, boom, here we are.

This is how the architects describe it:

A famed hotel of the 1930s, combined with an empty lot and two postwar apartment buildings, form the core and public façade of this new boutique hotel complex. Spanning four lots in the center of Miami Beach’s Architectural District, the project comprises approximately 28,000 SF of existing area in the three buildings to be restored, and 28,000 SF of new area in a series of five-story buildings to be constructed at the rear of the lot. A one-story addition on top of the old hotel completes the complex. The firm designed both the exterior and interior of the hotel. The new structure is built along the site’s rear property line, and is segmented into pieces that respect the historic 50 foot lot structure of the Architectural District. Its northern pieces align with the width of the street-front historic buildings, separated with intimate landscaped patios framed with ivy screenwalls that transform each patio into an outdoor room.

The focal point of the project is a courtyard patio, screened by the porches and canopies of the existing buildings, which will be used as a restaurant. The café space penetrates the first two floors of the new rear structure, creating a two-story high, indoor-outdoor dining room, closable with segmented glass and aluminum doors.

The project amplifies the surrounding district’s characteristic preference for multiplicity and incremental expansion over singular large-scaled solutions. Its moderately-scaled, fine-grained structures reflect their context while introducing a new, contemporary layer to the site.

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Photo by Sean McCaughan

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Photo by Sean McCaughan

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Photo by Sean McCaughan

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