Construction of Oceana Bal Harbour, a 28-story all-glass rectangle that is replacing the Bal Harbour Beach Club, is officially underway after a groundbreaking event today. The building is not to be confused with the existing Oceania Sunny Isles or Oceania Island up Collins Ave. The Beach Club, a WASPy nest that denied membership to Jewish and black people until the village's changing demographics made such discriminatory practices no longer profitable, was bulldozed earlier this year.
Argentine developer and art collector Eduardo Costantini bought the beachfront parcel for $220 million last year, and had architect Bernardo Fort-Brescia of Arquitectonica design a condo that has the look and feel of a museum. (But not a one of a kind museum. Costantini got a twofer with the practically identical Oceana Key Biscayne, another project of his.) What will set Oceana Bal Harbour apart from all the other minimalist and rather drab condos arising from the South Florida sands are a pair of monumental Jeff Koons sculptures being installed in the breezeway and a star-studded supporting cast of designers. Costantini, the founder of Buenos Aires' Museo de Arte Latinoamericano de Buenos Aires, bought the two, 10-feet-tall Koons pieces, "Pluto and Proserpina" and "Ballerina," last year for $14 million. They'll sit on opposing ends of the building's breezeway – which Fort-Brescia designed to look like a big picture window -- when construction is completed in 2016. Italian architect Piero Lissoni is doing the interiors, while Enzo Enea is handling landscaping. While the glass towers won't entirely impede ocean views, whether passersby will have any more access to the serene beaches of Bal Harbour than they did during the bad old days remains up for debate. But wasn't that always the point of Bal Harbour's 'exclusivity' anyways?
· Oceana Bal Harbour coverage [Curbed Miami]
· Oceana Bal Harbour [Oceana Residences]