Miami Becomes Safe Harbor for Cash and Celebrity Architecture

Rowan Moore looks at the multiple layers that are conspiring to make a maturing Miami the "new Most Exciting City in America". Diverse cultural offerings and branded architecture are attracting international investors.
December 3, 2013, 7am PST | Jonathan Nettler | @nettsj
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Managing to outgrow its reputation for "riots, urban blight, drug dealing," and a busted housing market, Miami is taking on a new role: leading global destination.

"The city has become a drop-off point for the migrant tribe of global super-rich, who feel the need to keep homes in London, New York, perhaps Moscow or an Asian city, and now Miami," observes Moore. "Hence a sprouting of towers and blocks designed by celebrity architects such as Norman Foster, Richard Meier, John Pawson, Herzog and de Meuron, and the Mexican Enrique Norten as well as Zaha Hadid."

"From here, Miami can go in two directions. It can do what almost every other aspirational city has done in the past 15 years, which is to behave like a teenager let loose with a platinum credit card in a luxury store," he concludes. "Or it can invent new ways to renew itself, as yet unknown, based on its inimitable fusion of South and North America, each of which has powerful and distinct ideas about how to make cities."

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Published on Saturday, November 30, 2013 in The Guardian
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