An 18-story residential tower, GLASS is situated on the southern tip of Miami Beach, in the South of Fifth Street neighborhood. Light and ethereal, GLASS is a response to its site, context and environment. The building dematerializes as it rises, with its exterior almost disappearing into the atmosphere and its compositional use of fritted, patterned glass. GLASS reflects, captures and abstracts the natural landscape of sand, sea and sky, while retaining the essence of place through its architectural design, its materials, surface textures and tonal color.
The building’s entrance is an immersive environment – at once luxurious and elemental, with natural light and areas with water that evoke the beach and the transition between sand and sea. Just as the gradient of color shifts from deep to shallow water, or the color of the sky changes as the eye travels upward from the horizon line, the experience of ascent within the building communicates this idea of movement. Conceived as an experiential space, the elevator contains an interactive installation, programmed to express the transition from water to sky with luminous, enlarged pixels of light and color patterns at each level. Artist Ivan Toth Depeña has collaborated with Rene Gonzalez Architect on this interactive piece.
The tower itself conveys the qualities of the sky. Open floor-plans with 360-degree views and expansive terraces with sliding doors blur the boundaries between indoor and outdoor space. Mirrored walls at every entry reflect an expansive view of the ocean. Indicating the shift between night and day, each foyer also contains a custom ceiling combining a translucent latex surface and a programmable lighting system choreographed to evoke the star-lit canopy of both urban and rural skies. Delicate and sensorial, the design of GLASS is a considered response to its setting in Miami Beach, specifically intended to allow one to experience the surrounding natural landscape.