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Check Out The AIA's New Downtown Miami Architecture Center

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Like other great cities across the country, Miami's chapter of the American Institute of Architects is finally getting its own headquarters, the Miami Center For Architecture And Design, a.k.a. MCAD. Housed in two floors of the historic Old U.S. Post Office in Downtown Miami, the MCAD was designed by local firm Shulman + Associates (with Forbes Architects as architect-of-record), whose principal, Allan Shulman, is currently the chapter's president. The design process was purposefully public and collaborative, with two public design charrettes, and many materials and services done pro-bono. Currently in the permitting phase, the project is planned to be completed in October.

The Miami chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) initiated the develop- ment in 2011 of a center for architecture – a first for the city – and in 2012 secured a site
in downtown Miami's historic Post Office Building. The design by S+A, following a series of public workshops, explores the typology
of the architecture center as a contemporary space, focusing on flexibility and the benefits of overlapping programming. The Center will operate concurrently as a welcome center, exhibition space, lecture hall, continuing education venue, design studio, conference center, archive, and the offices of AIA Miami. Exploiting the generous proportions of the building's main floor, the design produces a single grand space, divisible for different uses. This primary space is connected by a steel stair to secondary functions on the upper floor. A sculptural stair becomes the focal point of the center, its steel plate construction contrasting with the concrete frame of the old Post Office. The openness of the plan is nuanced by histori- cal elements like vaulted brick ceilings and a wall of arched doors that open to the building's front plaza. The offices wrap the main multi- function area, and are configured to connect

or disconnect from that space using a system of pivoting walls. The Center recuperates vital civic space, contributing to the reactivation of Miami's urban core. -Shulman + Associates

· Old U.S. Post Office Coverage [Curbed Miami]