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Here Are Early Jungles Landscape Plans For the Marriott Edition

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[Via Raymond Jungles Inc.]

Hotels week is over, but the fun will never end. We've been craving a look at the designs for Ian Schrager's currently under construction Marriott Edition/Seville Hotel for a while now, so far mostly just scoring info about the residential portion of the project. Everything else has been a mystery. So, even early landscaping plans that may or may not still be happening are mighty tantalizing. So, here ye, here ye are renderings (and a plan!) of the project's landscape design by (you guessed it!) Raymond Jungles. They were posted in the 'work in progress' section of his website.

With the old diving board tower covered in vines, trees in unexpected places, and the hotel's old trylon (that pointy thing that looks kind of like an obelisk holding up a sun deck) almost practically covered by foliage, it looks like the hotel was abandoned (again) and thanks to global warming swallowed up by a post-apocalyptic rainforest. The front-side of the hotel, a large quasi-public traffic circle, goes for the 'more is more' thing too, reviving one of Miami Beach's oldest but long neglected public spaces, and giving the hotel a 'ceremonial entrance' and kind of an over-the-top grand public plaza that will make all the other hotels, like, soooo jealous.

Que the Raymond:

The Edition Hotel sits on nearly 3 acres of beachfront property at 2901 Collins Avenue in Miami Beach, Florida. The 278,547 square-foot historic hotel was built in 1955, and is undergoing a rebirth under the direction of famed hotelier Ian Schrager. He has partnered with Marriott International in developing their new Edition brand, which creates hotels with individualistic ambience, reflecting the cultures of their surroundings. Ian Schrager engaged local landscape architecture firm, Raymond Jungles, Inc. in leading the schematic landscape design of the Seville Hotel. Ian encouraged the firm's principal, Raymond Jungles, FASLA, to show little restraint and attempt design elements that pushed the envelope. Our design is centered on the idea of a natural and timeless landscape. It is an opportunity for our firm to provide a corrective remedy to the pervasive run of unimaginative and provincial resort landscape designs in Miami Beach. It celebrates the "heart and soul" of the city's beaches, the most kinetic part of the Florida urban experience. The design focuses on bringing habitat into the site wherever possible. Despite harsh winds and salt spray, we have designed vibrant animated garden spaces. The Seville's prototypical garden will display the very best design and use of plant materials for the Miami Beach zone.

There will be a ceremonial approach to the hotel. By articulating the landscape, an elongated view will be created across the entry plaza to the historic hotel drop-off. Vast amounts of public space between the front of the hotel and the street, currently a sea of asphalt, will be transformed into a timeless civic space for everyone to enjoy. Building on the diversity of the region, the entry plaza will have a native Florida planting palette enhanced by a Kapok legacy tree, the centerpiece in the landscape. Enhanced pavement, much like that of 1111 Lincoln Road, will make cars feel almost like they are intruding on pedestrian space.

The design of the grounds will embody the scale, level of detail and comfort created in residential gardens. There will be water gardens, water plants, shade, sound, color, and texture. There will be a real sense of space and place. The water elements and fire elements will create interesting moments and movement within the garden spaces. Dramatic grade changes and circulation through the garden will enliven both intimate spaces for contemplation and ceremonial areas for private events. The garden will be as distinctive as the hotel, with people will visiting to experience the grounds as much as the interior spaces.

The adjacent public spaces from the north and the south, primarily used for beach access, will be enhanced and linked to the dune system. These paths, which were once afterthoughts, will now be lush processions to the beach. Views of the ocean will be exposed and celebrated.

The beachfront landscape is designed for both immediate and future use, celebrating Miami Beach's unique dune system and the proposed future beach walk. The elevation will be brought up from the sidewalks to the beach access paths, opening up distant water views previously blocked by the existing boardwalk. The City would like an at grade level beach promenade for the future, whether or not the boardwalk is removed. Our design will accommodate the future.

The dune and the connection of the dune are the most powerful unifying elements in the whole beach zone of Miami Beach. The dune's visual continuity is stronger than the sidewalk and the street. We are celebrating the dune plantings by enhancing the existing dune and welcoming it into the site. Encouraged by zoning regulations that have been thwarted by many, we believe the dune plantings will enhance the view from the beach back towards the hotel grounds. One will see a natural Florida dune system with native trees providing shade and habitat to birds and creatures that rely on the dunes for survival. With a seamless transition onto the site, the dunes will look as though they are rolling into the beachfront property.

Existing coconuts will be pushed back from the dune zone, so that they do not become the primary visual element. They will be reused in a more natural looking grove. Native plant material will include green buttonwoods, silver buttonwoods, sea grape, sabal palms and frontline dune trees that will survive the elements. Native thatch palms will act as understory embellishments along with native dune plants known for their fragrance, texture, toughness and food source for native predators and pollinators. Enhancing the natural dune will create a sense of separation from the public boardwalk/beach walk to the resort grounds. - Raymond Jungles Inc.

UPDATE: According to the House Of Jungles, they were only involved in the project at the conceptual level. Somebody else is executing it. So, let's hope they don't muck it up.
UPDATE #2: This has been taken over, possibly redesigned, by someone else. NEVERMIND!
· Edition Hotel [Raymond Jungles Inc.]
· Marriott Edition/Seville Hotel coverage [Curbed Miami]

Seville Hotel

2901 Collins Avenue, Miami Beach, FL