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Julian Schnabel Made Brickell Flatiron's Wonderful, Sort of Weird, Sales Center a Giant Piece of Art

Site prep for the planned Brickell Flatiron tower will be underway before the end of the month when demolition of Baru, a restaurant occupying the corner of the tower's lot, completes. Although the building itself was designed by Luis Revuelta, the sales center, which is a temporary structure located in Brickell Flatiron Park, is the work of superstar artist Julian Schnabel (who was at the height of his fame perhaps a decade or so ago, but hey, who are we to judge?). He created a little square pink house that feels like a living room inside. It feels like his living room inside, to be precise, because the sales center was modeled after Schnabel's own home, the Palazzo Chupi in New York, which happens to be a condominium building that Schnabel himself developed and lives in in New York. His studio is also on the lower floors.

Both the exterior and interior of the sales center are by Schnabel, with custom pieces of furniture and architectural elements that will eventually go in the public spaces of the completed Brickell Flatiron tower, which will be across the street. There is a large table surfaced with a photo collage under layers of resin, and saw-toothed floor lamps that appear to be made out of some sort of bone, or at least mimic it, are complimented by a large saw-tooth chandelier. A monumental fireplace mantle, like many fireplace mantles around Miami, is purely decorative. Nevermind that those fireplaces often held gas heaters which, not used very frequently, generally got ripped out over the years. This one is pointedly bricked up, like Schnabel's making some joke. A chunky coffee table has the building's 'BF' logo etched into the top with a deep roughness. Pieces of Schnabel's art hang on the walls. Vanessa Grout, who has taken the lead on this project at CMC Group, once was very specific to point out to us that Schnabel's contribution to Brickell Flatiron is public. Not public for residents, but public public, in areas where the public off the street can experience them. Hopefully that won't change as Brickell Flatiron progresses. Hopefully the building will be as wonderfully unique as the sales center.

Schnozzle's (ha! damn autocorrect) domain includes the project's advertising, for which he has created a number of images, including images of nude people on a sailboat and a nude woman playing tennis. The building is a few blocks from Biscayne Bay, so the sailboat makes sense, but it doesn't have a tennis court. Whatever, it's art, right?

· Artist in Residence [Vanity Fair]
· Brickell Flatiron coverage [Curbed Miami]

Brickell Flatiron Park

1100 SE First Ave., Miami, FL