Kenneth Treister, one of Miami's most iconic architects, helped define the subtropical modernist postwar look of many of Miami's more jungly neighborhoods around Miami. The interior of the Golden Girls set, for example, is reminiscent of a design by Treister or his compatriot Alfred Browning Parker. The living room practically screamed "Kenneth Treister!"
Architect Kenneth Treister, whose distinctive subtropical style flourished in Miami during the fabulous heydays of the '60s, '70s, '80s, and even later recently released a book exploring many of his most significant local buildings. These include some fantastic courtyard houses, the sublime Mayfair in the Grove shopping center and hotel, and a building whose current limbo has been covered at length here on the Big Bubble, the Office in the Grove.
A building that is integrated with landscape and art: an office structure that is completely humanized, and architectural design which was dictated by the unusual site and the desire to give maximum views of the tropical environment: That is Office in the Grove. The building concept developed by Kenneth Treister, FAIA in 1970, offers a contemporary structure delightfully in scale with its environment and the people who make use of its facilities on a daily basis. Integrating art, architecture and landscape into a harmonious whole is an achievement, which will distinguish the building as a landmark for future generations to enjoy.
"Docomomo US / Florida, the local chapter of Docomomo International, a non-profit organization dedicated to the documentation and conservation of buildings, sites and neighborhoods of the modern movement for nearly 25 years, applied May 5 to the City of Miami Historic and Environmental Preservation Board requesting them to designate Office in the Grove, Coconut Grove, a historic, architectural resource."
This is the richly decorated, highly sculptural lobby of The Office in the Grove, designed by architect Kenneth Treister in 1970. The building was modernist, but the lobby interior was richly covered in plaster and concrete bas reliefs, copper sculptures and light fixtures, and intricately carved wood elevator panels, depicting many of the natural wonders of the Office in the Grove's surrounding neighborhood, a place where peacocks walk the streets (Some consider them a public nuisance sadly) and palm trees galore make the name 'Coconut Grove' literally true.
The developer who recently purchased the Office in the Grove building, designed and constructed in 1970 by important local architect Kenneth Treister, appears to be very serious about his or her intentions to demolish it, and has already destroyed the original lobby.
A group of architects and preservationists interested in preserving modernist architecture is fighting to save the Office in the Grove, an office building designed by seminal Miami architect Kenneth Treister in 1970, from demolition. Treister artfully tempered the building's precast concrete brutalist facade with creative architectural details of local flora and fauna, highlighting the surrounding Coconut Grove neighborhood.