Close-Up on Zaha Hadid’s Miami Tower

One Thousand Museum’s co-developer, Louis Birdman, explains how the unique luxury tower went above-and-beyond when it comes to design and amenities.

Last summer, Zaha Hadid Architects marked the completion of its 62-story One Thousand Museum, an 84-unit luxury residential tower with more than 30,000 square feet of various unique features including a helipad, bank-quality vault, sky lounge, double-height aquatic center and an indoor pool at the 60th floor. The now iconic high-rise’s exterior design features roughly 5,000 pieces of glass fiber reinforced concrete. 

Adjacent to the Museum Park and the Perez Art Museum Miami and steps away from Wynwood Arts District, Brickell Financial Center and the Miami Design District, the $300 million project is Zaha Hadid’s first and final residential tower in the western hemisphere. In an interview with Multi-Housing News, Louis Birdman, co-developer of One Thousand Museum, talks about the hospitality-focused residential experience and the challenges in Miami’s luxury development market.

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What innovations does One Thousand Museum bring to the market?

Birdman: One Thousand Museum pushes the envelope for luxury living in every way. One example is the helipad, which is the only helipad atop a private condo on the East Coast. The building is also the first to partner with Forbes Travel Guide—the goal here was to create a hospitality-focused residential experience on par with that of the finest hotels in the world.

What makes the design of One Thousand Museum unique?

Birdman: You can look at this building from miles away and know it’s like nothing else that exists. It has a striking aesthetic that makes it stand out in Miami’s skyline and this bold design carries through the common spaces and residences themselves.

Louis Birdman, Co-Developer, One Thousand Museum. Image courtesy of One Thousand Museum

Tell us a bit about the exterior design of the project. Why the exoskeleton?

Birdman: The exoskeleton concept was conceived to maximize the amount of open floor space within the building and allow the residences to remain essentially column-free. It’s comprised of 5,000 pieces of glass fiber reinforced concrete that were shipped from Dubai and assembled onsite.

What are the cutting-edge amenities that the property is offering?

Birdman: Each amenity was carefully conceived. There are offerings here never-before-seen in a residential setting including a bank-quality vault, sky lounge for dining and events with seasonal menus by our in-house director of culinary, an offsite private beach club and branded 1KM spa with private rooms for treatments. Not only is there an outdoor pool, but there’s also an indoor pool at the 60th floor that overlooks the city. These are just some of the examples of how we aimed to go above and beyond.

How is this tower carrying Zaha Hadid’s legacy forward?

Birdman: One Thousand Museum is Zaha Hadid’s first and final residential tower in the western hemisphere and a project that had a special place in her heart. Zaha always wanted a tower in Miami that embodied the city’s flair. We know she would be proud of this end result.

We are seeing increased demand and attention for sustainability. What are One Thousand Museum’s sustainable features?

Birdman: Every aspect of this project is built at or above building code.

One Thousand Museum. Image courtesy of Alena Graff

Tell us about the factors that have a particularly strong influence on residential design today.

Birdman: Luxury buyers today have seen it all and they want to have a residential experience like that of the finest hotels around the world. The highest quality of materials, brand-name fixtures and custom finishes, these are some of the things now expected as the standard.

Please name the biggest challenges in luxury condo design and development in Miami.

Birdman: I think cities like Miami, with active real estate markets that attract a global buyer, will continue to seek to elevate the level of design, but the market has entered a different cycle and developers may focus on shifting markets for buyers. Those projects’ success will largely depend on the ability of developers to obtain financing. For those projects that are for sale versus for rent, their success will be heavily dependent upon those end users’ ability to obtain financing with smaller down payments. 

Availability of land is another challenge. For example, One Thousand Museum sits on one of the last developable plots of land in downtown Miami.

One Thousand Museum. Image courtesy of Alena Graff

One Thousand Museum. Image courtesy of Alena Graff

What can you tell us about demand for high-end condo units in Miami amid a softening market and oversupply of luxury product?

Birdman: The condo market is at an interesting point and One Thousand Museum is for a specific type of buyer. We’re confident the quality resonates with buyers out there and that we’re priced to sell.

What’s your take on the Miami real estate market for 2020?

Birdman: Developers will likely focus on different types of projects, geared toward different types of buyers and less focused on the ultra high-end. I see developers still focused on high-design and well-amenitized developments, but perhaps with lesser-known but highly creative architects and designers.

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