The incorporation of the historic Versailles Hotel into the Faena District Miami Beach includes a restoration and residential conversion of the original art deco Versailles building designed by Roy France, demolition of a postwar addition, and the construction of a new residential tower designed by Brandon Haw, of Leitersdorf Haw Architects, formerly of Foster + Partners, where he oversaw the neighboring Faena House when it was being designed. Landscaping is by Raymond Jungles, with interiors by Studio Sofield. The proposed designs are a massive change for the property, with some interesting twists. Here are some of the highlights:
1. The new tower is set back from the street, restoring an historic vista from the south that terminates at the Versailles tower.
2. The new, symmetrical, tower is meant to coordinate with the Versailles tower in its massing, but also coordinated with the Faena House tower next door, which in turn was designed (through its asymmetrically, etc.) to coordinate with the Saxony Hotel tower next to it. It doesn't stand out as an individual icon.
3. The landscaping is extensive and lush, as places designed by Raymond Jungles tend to be. Unlike the organic forms in the rest of the Faena District, the design takes on a more rectilinear geometry.
4. The new tower is taller than the historic Versailles hotel, however its slenderness and recessed positioning may make the height less obtrusive.
5. The restoration of the historic structure includes conversion of the former hotel's dining room into an 'orangerie' with a swimming pool. The resulting space is quite interesting, despite the sad loss of the dining room. This will be one of two pools on the grounds, with a third pool for the penthouse.
6. Apartments, both in the historic tower and the new tower, will be very large, many offering private elevator access.
7. The basement level of the hotel will be converted into an underground parking garage.
· Normal Looking, Possibly Too-Tall, Tower Proposed for Faena [Curbed Miami]