"I would like to add some things that I felt we're left out and could contribute to the architectural dialogue. The history of the project and of Philip Johnston are presented well. What is lacking for me is a deeper understanding of the architect, Postmodernism and how this affects Miami. So I will try and add that for whomever is interested in it. Let's begin by first understanding that Philip Johnston was an architect (first to win the Pritzker prize) who loved architecture but was not himself a good architect. His greatest contribution was getting America interested in Modern Architecture. As such he admired and worked with Mies van der Rohe even to the point where he copied his work. Philip Johnson's glass how is a weaker copy of Mies's glass house concepts best exemplified by his Farnsworth House.
When Modernism lost its popularity for a whole lot of reasons which are all very complex it was replaced by Postmodernism which is also an incredibly complex idea. It happened not only in architecture but literature as well. In architecture it was introduced by Robert Venturi and his wife Denise Scott Brown. Their buildings were modern with classical elements such as Doric columns which supported nothing or missing keystones. Unfortunately this was translated by other architects into a kind of mash up of architectural elements that lack humor, delight or any kind of thinking as seen in this project. And so this project, just like Miami, is a detached island trying to reference a vague Spanish history which never existed.
Miami was a Tequesta settlement for thousands of years and then an outpost of white settlers in the late 1800s. The Spanish [Mediterranean] Revival style was just a fashion during the early 1900 to sell homes. My purpose in writing all of this is to say that architecture can be and should be something powerful that defines a city. The buildings that we build define us so we should build buildings that are worth it. Miamians should learn from this and expect better. Great cities have great architecture. Miami has lousy architecture."-archiguy [Early Postmodernism: Philip Johnson's Miami Cultural Center]