OMA and BIG compete for Miami project

miami beach convention center

Famous architectural firms, OMA and BIG, are battling it out to win the redevelopment competition for the design of the Miami Beach Convention Center.

Unlike other architectural master plan competitions, the Miami Beach project is especially intense because Bjarke Ingels, founder and head of BIG, used to work at OMA.

The current Miami Beach Convention Center occupies a 52-acre site at the city, adjacent to its city hall, as well as to cultural attractions such as the Jackie Gleason Theater.


BIG produced its proposal in a team called Portman CMC, which includes property developers Portman Holdings and CMC Group, architects John Portman & Associates, West8 and Fentress Architects, and circus entertainers Cirque du Soleil, who would provide an event space on the site.

BIG’s proposal is centred around the creation of a public square, with paths, plazas, gardens and parks connecting the convention centre with the surrounding buildings.

OMA is working alongside property developers Tishman and UIA, architects TVSdesign and landscape architects MMVA and Raymond Jungles, who together form a team called South Beach ACE.

The team’s vision includes building an 800-room hotel on top of the existing convention centre, which is the location for the annual Art Basel – Miami Beach and Design Miami trade fairs.

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