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Epic Critique Sums Up Miami's Architecture Today

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In a wide ranging critique in the Miami Herald that's part take-down, part celebration, of Miami's current architectural scene, architecture critic Alastair Gordon says:

"The buildings themselves seemed to swim free against the sky," wrote Joan Didion when she visited Miami in the 1980s, and this is still true today. The sub-tropical sun flattens perspective and diminishes mass. Shadows shift and fold, while true edges lose definition as if in a watercolor wash. Early skyscrapers in New York and Chicago drew energy up from the earth with brooding setbacks, finials, gargoyles and Faustian shadows. In contrast, the recent hi-rises of Miami appear to dangle downwards, hardly touching the earth at all. In certain kinds of light, at certain times of day, the city's skyline resembles a sun-bleached skeleton, drained of color and substance.
· In excess-driven Miami, design gurus should take a few lessons from nature. [Miami Herald]