The Residences at 1428 Brickell were officially unveiled last week by development firm Ytech with a bunch of generally similar posts dropping on various real estate and business news outlets around South Florida, based on a press release emailed to everyone by the developer’s public relations team slightly earlier that day, just like countless unveilings have done before. The new tower, a sinuous sheath of glass wrapped in more glass for the balconies, will be notable for being one of the very first buildings of any kind in the world to integrate photovoltaic solar-panel windows into its design which will help power the tower and feed extra energy back to the grid. And, as the developer claims, it probably will also be Earth’s very first condo tower with that feature. A reasonably thorough Internet search for others came back empty. The aesthetically striking 70-story skyscraper is replacing Ytech’s old mid-rise office tower on Brickell Avenue, which is basically a very bland brutalist block of concrete with windows. Built decades ago, that old bunker of a building is straight out of the high modernist architectural era, where strict minimalism was in, and done well a building could be elegant in many ways. Done poorly, you got a bomb shelter to satisfy your Cold War anxieties that was somehow still considered nice enough for a fancy Brickell Avenue address.
The design of the NEW 1428 Brickell (the old office building also used the address for a name) is being creatively led by ACPV ARCHITECTS partners Antonio Citterio and Patricia Viel, who are Italian, who are based in Milan, and whose first and last initials together give the firm its name. The duo is working on both architecture and interior design, accompanied by Miami’s homegrown architecture mega-firm, Arquitectonica. This project actually falls on the heels of ACPV’s first successful South Florida project, the 16-unit Arte, in Surfside. Another extremely high-end building, Arte was designed with a variety of unique features, such as its A-frame shape and a separate building across Collins Avenue for the parking garage and indoor pool. Yes, an indoor pool in Miami really is as shockingly rare as it sounds. Both Arte and 1428 Brickell share a similar restraint from architectural fussiness and a warm beige color palette (all of which are common elements of ACPV’s style) while providing spectacular services and amenities packages, and just a hell of a lot of luxury.
The price of entry for a place at 14328 is squarely among some of Miami’s most expensive buildings to date. The 189 units are going from $2 million to $40 million for the top penthouse, and each one has Biscayne Bay views. For all that, the amenity they’re bragging about the most is, of course, the solar windows. Here’s what they have to say:
“Five hundred photovoltaic-integrated windows along the west-facing façade, create a “Solar Backbone” comprising nearly 20,000 square feet of energy-producing glass. With this orientation and permanently installed generating capacity, the system can produce up to 170,000 kilowatts, or 170 megawatts, of clean energy per year. This is intended to result in the reduction of approximately 4,700 tons of CO2 and the use of 3,000 barrels less of oil.”
At this point, only a handful of buildings in the world have photovoltaic glazing integrated into their structures, including a few much smaller commercial buildings, and even Chicago’s iconic Willis Tower, formerly known as the Sears tower, when it was the tallest building in the world. The technology is just beginning to be commercialized and brought to market. However, even the Willis Tower installation was just a pilot project, and only one wall on one floor was replaced with solar glass. This is definitely one of the most ambitious utilizations of solar windows to date on the planet, if not the most ambitious, bar none.
The amenities include a “Rooftop Observatory” with a pool, a two-story landscaped atrium, and a bar. A few floors below, the “Owner’s Club on level 67 has a wine and spirits lounge with private temperature-controlled storage, a private dining room, a “limited edition Vaselli chef’s kitchen,” another bar, and a group of private office suites and conference rooms, you know, for “work from home.” One level below all that is the 10,000 square foot spa with various kinds of treatment rooms, rooms to exercise in various ways (such as a weight room, a HIIT zone, and a yoga studio), hot and cold plunge pools, a golf simulator, other wellness-y things, and finally a juice bar and a big fat sun terrace with its own yoga pavilion. Yes, a yoga pavilion on the sun terrace that’s 66 floors above the ground. The whole idea reminds one somehow of James Bond when he went through his blond phase in the seventies.
Zooming down to the tenth floor, you’ve got your guest suites, which are kinda like hotel rooms to use if residents have an overnight guest but it’s not a special kind of overnight guest. These are presumably just for the regular boring kind of overnight guests that don’t visit most people as often these days. On the 7th floor, the amenity deck has the main pool, lap pool, aquatic therapy area, jacuzzi, splash pad, and general pool deck sorts of stuff. It also has a kid’s room and playground, a cinema room, and a teen’s sports simulator, so they’re not constantly being rowdy around the adults’ sport (well just golf) simulator back up at the spa.