Our One Thousand Museum tower has been a tremendous challenge and an incredible experience, one that has tested me personally, our office and the entire design team. Together we met the challenge of delivering a highly ambitious design to the highest quality standards within the demanding parameters of commercial viability.
The latest addition to Miami’s skyline owes its success to the dedication of everyone involved and the foresight to implement the most innovative design and construction techniques available. It is especially exciting to see One Thousand Museum nearing completion in Zaha Hadid’s adopted home of Miami where it will stand prominently on the skyline.
Zaha Hadid Architects’ constant pursuit of innovation, quality design, and construction to the highest standards are driving forces that compel our architecture. As a result, One Thousand Museum is visually and physically pioneering, yet it is structurally efficient and perfectly suited to fulfill its programmatic requirements. The 62-storey, 84 unit luxury condominium tower features deep balconies, broad vistas, generous amenities, and parking levels all configured and expressed in an unexpected way to create one synthesized design.
Set within an inspiring setting where bay and ocean frame a diverse and energetic city, the design for One Thousand Museum captures and reflects this exceptional location especially through the key design feature, a dynamic structure that allows for large, expansive units with incredible views where city, architecture and setting can be enjoyed.
The energy of Miami and positive outlook of the people is enticing. There is a broad mix of cultures and an interest in design with emerging areas and events such as the Design District, Wynwood, Art Basel, and of course Museum Park across from our site that offer a fantastic, flavourful, rich experience.
One Thousand Museum is the perfect addition to the ensemble of buildings forming Museum Park, perfectly located to take advantage of the activity of the Adrienne Arsht Center, American Airlines Arena, and easy access to the beach.
Innovation and Quality as a Core Principle
The innovations seen in OTM trace a direct lineage to ZHAs constant endeavors to innovate and to deliver a high-quality solution. Years of research and development from exploring, then pushing beyond software limitations, expanding our knowledge base through our excellent consultant teams, and acquiring lessons from our built work, have all contributed to the realization of one of the world’s most ambitious towers.
A world first construction system was developed for OTM’s defining feature, the exoskeleton, which posed the greatest design and construction challenge for the project. Referred to as a “permanent formwork solution”, factory-made Glass Fibre Reinforced Concrete (GFRC) panels, provide both formwork and architectural finish. They are assembled around steel reinforcement cages, then filled with high strength, self-compacting concrete and remain permanently in place once the concrete has cured. The permanent formwork solution holds many advantages over other traditional building methods that were investigated and evaluated to achieve the exoskeleton design.
In-situ concrete relies heavily on the quality of the formwork and concrete. Since the concrete is the architectural finish, high grade, white concrete and a perfect pour every time, with no margin for error is required. Furthermore, it was doubtful that conventional cast-in-place forming methods could achieve the required level of detail and articulation.
Cladding solutions using panels of Pre-cast concrete or Glass Fibre Reinforced Concrete (GFRC) were also considered to achieve the required high degree of geometric precision and quality finish. Although the construction of the in-situ concrete structure would be more forgiving, as it would later be concealed in this scenario, the formwork of the underlying superstructure would still be complex. Carefully coordinated and calibrated brackets would then be required for panel installation.
The “permanent formwork” hybrid solution ultimately used for the construction of OTM benefits from the advantages while eliminating many of the disadvantages of the more traditional in-situ and cladding construction methods. Factory finished panels, made to exacting material and geometric specifications, are the formwork. Panels are positioned, clamped together, filled with structural concrete and then remain in place to become the exterior and interior finish. The need for one-off, highly complex formwork, the risk of ensuring a perfect pour every time, expensive, stainless steel cladding brackets, and difficult super structure and sub-structure / cladding coordination are all eliminated. These and other advantages of the system achieved unparalleled architectural results while reducing construction of the exoskeleton by 6 months. Additionally, this method required far less material and formwork wastage compared to in-situ concrete systems, thus, contributing to the building’s Platinum status with the Florida Green Building Coalition.
CNC cut moulds were built in Dubai using information generated directly from the architect’s digital model. GFRC panels were formed in the moulds, with a specified architectural finish to the face mix. Following factory test assemblies and mock-ups, the panels were shipped to Miami for use as the formwork. Overland transportation was minimal since the panels were transported between two waterfront cities, Dubai to Miami. All 4,800 panels were designed to fit within the shipping containers and sequenced to ensure delivery to Miami when needed for installation.
A Synthesis of Structure and Architecture
ZHA has long explored fluid, expressive structures, where the formal properties are driven by structural principles, especially for tower design. Advancements in digital technology, together with novel construction methods have made possible this vision for OTM. Constructing the 709-foot concrete exoskeleton to precision, at height, and to a demanding construction program was a challenge that required collaboration, testing and an innovative technical solution. Here, in built form, architecture, structure, exterior façade, and interior finish are all truly synthesised through an innovation in construction.
In addition to the novel construction methods employed to achieve the exoskeleton design, the structure itself was an innovative deviation away from the typical, moment frame structure used for nearly every residential tower. Miami experiences seasonal hurricanes, so the building was designed to withstand winds of up to 180mph. A traditional approach to withstand wind pressure on the 709-foot tower would have demanded more abundant and much thicker shear walls, especially around the elevator and stair cores, substantially reducing sellable area while restricting floor plan flexibility.
The structural engineer, DeSimone worked with the architect to optimize the exoskeleton. The architectural, curving “x-braces” were employed as a bracing system and joined at “nodes.” In this configuration, the braces work in unison with the shear walls so that they are thinner and more efficient.
Balconies appear to scallop from the exoskeleton at each corner through the lower levels of the tower. Though, a visually effective signature feature, these scallop shapes are essential structural brackets supporting balcony slabs that cantilever over 35 feet. A traditional design approach would have resulted in a 20-inch-thick post-tensioned slab. Instead, this is reduced to 11 inches using these features sculpted out of the exoskeleton.
An assortment of 2D and 3D platforms were used to design and deliver OTM. While the primary digital tools were Microstation, Rhino, and Maya, many others were used including Structural Engineering software, AutoCad, and Revit. The fluid movement of information between parties, digital platforms, and from 3D design to 2D documentation was critical to ensure the precision and coordination required for such an ambitious tower design.
Interoperability was key, requiring software where complex, curvilinear 3D geometry could be seamlessly passed back and forth. We were able to combine the best talents and abilities of staff, and the strengths of each different software, therefore, opening broad possibilities without limitations to design input and development. Maya was used for early, quick sketch modelling, Rhino, a universal surface modeller, for surface modelling refinements, and Microstation for precision modelling and 2D documentation. Both ZHA and the local executive architect, ODP, used a combination of Microstation and Rhino. Early in the collaboration, CAD, 3D and data exchange standards were agreed and implemented streamlining data flow between London and Miami.
A sophisticated file referencing system for 3D models and 2D documentation allowed multiple team members, across London and Miami, to work on areas of the project independently. Team members could view a complete snapshot of the project at any given time in an up-to-date compilation “master” file. This greatly facilitated a team effort, efficiently combining everyone’s contributions. Studies were directly referenced into the master file for quick checking on design consistency or clash issues. Microstation served as an umbrella application to coordinate a complete 3D model from which 2D drawings and construction documentation were directly produced.
Microstation and Rhino’s parametric capabilities to shape, refine, and rationalize were essential for conceiving and delivering the design. The entire exoskeleton was rationalized as a series of straight segments and arcs with minimum variation in radii. Although sinuous, sculptural and geometrically complex, the exoskeleton is symmetrically designed, facilitating constructability through repetition in panels, moulds and formwork. Additionally, with a minor exception at the base of the tower, all twisting and double curved panels were eliminated, while retaining the integrity and dynamism of the design.
Parametric design was used to generate many of the 3D patterns that give the design its unique character. The top of tower feature wall and the perforation pattern across the geometrically complex parking garage cladding are examples of this method for designs that could not be achieved otherwise. The nearly 6 story high curvilinear “surf boards” arrayed across areas of the parking garage like gill slots represent a parametric progression of the same underlying form.
A transformation of the building massing envelope to avoid the typical tower resting on base configuration. The volume integrates the base into the composition so that the tower appears continuous and unified. The exoskeleton reinforces this design intent, and together with the balony scallops and recesses brings articulation and rhythm to the tower design.
The structural exoskeleton required close collaboration and immediate feedback from our structural engineers, DeSimone. The 3D model exchange between architect and engineer enabled a quick turnaround confirming the efficiency of the structural system. The combined process allowed for precision engineering of the sinuous components, which may not have been achievable a decade ago.
The construction stages, required extensive design and engineering coordination between the panel design and fabrication firm in Dubai, the architectural teams in London and the US, multiple engineering and peer review firms, the contractors, and the inspection authorities. The team conducted weekly meetings via the internet, using interactive 3-D modeling to study and solve a multitude of on-site construction and engineering challenges, many of which had never been encountered before, as the team successfully implemented a brand new construction method.
This article was originally published in IGS Magazines Winter 2019 Issue: Read the full Magazine here for more thought-leadership from those spearheading the industry
Author: Chris Lepine, Director at Zaha Hadid Architects
A member of the Zaha Hadid team since 2006, Chris Lépine has experience in large-scale international projects and the use of advanced digital technology to resolve complex design challenges. Chris was the project director of 1000 Museum, a residential tower in Miami, USA.
Chris was formerly an associate at Foster and Partners where he had many leadership roles on completed, international projects including lead designer and project architect for a prestigious winery in Spain. He also worked with Foster and Partners’ exclusive Specialist Modelling Group.
Chris obtained a Master’s degree at Clemson University in South Carolina, where he received both the top graduate prize and the best thesis project award. He also holds a degree in finance from the University of South Carolina’s Honours College.
Chris’s continued interest in the relationship between architectural form and drawing techniques has led him to lecture at the Architectural Association in London.