Hundreds of real estate professionals gathered in a small section of the Brickell City Centre construction site, where work had been halted for the night. There, they sat in folding chairs and listened to members of the BCC development team talk about how the $30 million Climate Ribbon came to be.
The night was DJed by Wooden Wisdom, a duo between Zach Cowie and Elijah Wood, also known as the famed actor who played Frodo the Hobbit in the “Lord of the Rings” movie series.
One of the speakers that night was British pop artist Allen Jones, who had loaned his gargantuan “Dancers” sculpture to BCC for the party. “This figure here only has a temporary visa as I do,” Allen said.
Swire Properties president Stephen Owens, designer Hugh Dutton, architect Bernardo Fort-Brescia and art curator Alison Pickett also spoke to the crowd about their views on architecture and art commingling in real estate, and why the ribbon is more than just a massive showpiece.
Fort-Brescia, one of the founders of Arquitectonica, said his firm wanted to stay away from designing BCC’s retail section as an air-conditioned box. Instead, the shopping areas are split into four open-air blocks connected by a walkway that stretches over South Miami Avenue.
Above that walkway is the 1,000-foot-long Climate Ribbon: a twisted strip of steel and glass that’s meant to block rain and focus breezes through the retail areas, replacing air conditioning.
Dutton, a designer who helped bring the ribbon’s concept to life, surprised the crowd when he brought out a gift for Owens: a 3D printed version of the Climate Ribbon — a much smaller version, of course.
Owens, not to be outdone, launched into an impromptu speech: “We’re property developers,” he said, “who believe in leaving the neighborhoods we work in a little better than we found them.”