Faena’s Argentine aesthetic in South Beach

May 22, 2013 02:00PM

Faena District Miami Beach

Argentine fashion designer-turned-developer Alan Faena hopes to replicate the success of Buenos Aires’ Puerto Madero restoration on a four-block strip of South Beach.

Faena converted Puerto Madero, a decrepit, overgrown port never used as such, into some of the city’s priciest real estate and a haven for Argentina’s political and business elite, adding a high sheen to the banks of the murky Río de la Plata with towers by Phillipe Starck and Lord Norman Foster.

In Miami Beach, Faena and his partner, Russian billionaire Leonard Blavatnik, bought about four blocks of development space on Collins Avenue, including the late Art Deco-era Saxony Hotel, and commissioned star architects to construct a new Faena district, the Journal said.

Foster is designing a condo tower while Rem Koolhaas’s firm, OMA, will oversee the design of a complex that includes retail, a roboticized parking garage and an arts center.

The Saxony, to be renamed Faena Hotel, will be refurbished by Roman and Williams, whose projects include New York’s The Standard and the Ace Hotel.

“It’s the first time that a voice is arriving from the south to North America — and it’s not only my voice, but the voice of the entire region. So we feel responsible for that flag — all the messages, the feelings, our mentality, our music, our dancing, our way of living,” Faena was quoted as saying. [WSJ]Emily Schmall