Miami Beach Convention Center Expansion + Renovation

Miami Beach, Miami, USA

The redesigned Miami Beach Convention Center has revitalized the Center—and City—as a global hub for arts, culture, and technology.

Internationally recognized as an Art Deco destination, Miami Beach, Florida, has become the world capital of contemporary art and architecture. Located in the heart of the city, the 1950s Miami Beach Convention Center (MBCC) needed a transformation befitting its reputation as a world-class entertainment destination the venue has become known for through annual events such as Art Basel and eMERGE Americas. The City of Miami Beach charged the design team with creating a design that is quintessentially South Florida. Early on, the team explored the surrounding culture and context, allowing for the design to become a contextual representation of the city.

Inspired by the undulating ocean waves, exterior façades’ “fins” – angled aluminum linear forms – filter dappled light throughout the daylit lobbies and pre-function spaces to provide a seamless transition between indoor and outdoor environments. This contextual inspiration was brought inside with colors and patterns that emulate receding water, sea foam, and local coral reef patterns.

Swooping curves, glistening white columns, and subdued lighting punctuate the pre-function lobbies and the Grand Ballroom, drawing inspiration from Miami’s modernist architecture. The new Grand Ballroom features acoustic sound panels to heighten sound quality and LED lighting to produce both high-quality lighting and energy savings.

Surrounded by natural light and modern glass paneling, the Grand Ballroom’s pre-function space overlooks contemporary artwork installed by Miami Beach’s Art in Public Places. Within this environment, MBCC visitors and staff experience digital displays incorporating event-specific branding, art and dynamic visual elements.

Award-Winning Design

  • Award of Merit, AIA Florida, 2022
  • Award of Merit, AIA Colorado, 2021
  • American Architecture Award, Chicago Athenaeum, 2021
  • BEST Award (Serve Category), IIDA Rocky Mountain Chapter, 2020
  • Silver Award (SPECIALIST: Façade Category), Word Architecture News, 2020
  • GalaVerde Leadership Awards (Innovative Project of the Year: Resilience Award), USGBC South Florida, 2020
  • Honor Award of Excellence: Divine Detail, AIA Miami, 2021
  • Special Recognition Award, AIA Western Mountain Region, 2021
  • Completed Building Category (Finalist New and Old), World Architecture Festival, 2021
  • Best of Year Award (Building Façade), Interior Design Magazine, 2021
  • Special Recognition Award, Miami Hospitality Design Awards, 2019
  • Forward Thinking Award, Miami Beach Chamber of Commerce, Better Beach Awards, 2019
Miami Beach Convention Center

USGBC LEED Silver-Certification

Sustainable design strategies include:

  • Six acres of asphalt were transformed into a vibrant public park, thereby reducing heat island effect and parking was relocated to the venue’s roof.
  • 12 acres of greenspace was added, more than 100 existing trees were preserved, and over 1,300 new trees were added. As a result, the design increases the pervious acreage of the 25-acre campus by 245% and significantly reduces heat island effect.
  • The façades’ angled fins create a curtain wall that responds to the solar orientation of each façade, filtering dappled light throughout the daylit lobbies and pre-function spaces to provide a seamless transition between indoor and outdoor environments.
  • Installation of reduced flow water faucets and flush fixtures at the MBCC increase water efficiency, with an expected 36-percent reduction in water consumption
  • Approximately 69% of the MBCC building was retained and renovated, and over 90% of the construction waste from the project was recycled, re-used, or otherwise diverted from the waste stream

Resilient Design

For hurricane-prone and severe weather event communities, resilient structures can mean survival. The design transforms the Center to meet the city’s resiliency plan and provide safe shelter for area residents. An existing six-acre asphalt parking lot was transformed into a vibrant public park that includes gardens, lawns, and shaded areas. Twelve acres of greenspace and over 1,300 new trees were added. Over 100 existing trees were preserved. The design increases the pervious acreage of the 25-acre campus by 245%, significantly reducing heat island effect. The elevation of critical building systems to the second floor allows the center to remain operational during hurricanes.