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Richard Meier reinvigorates historic Miami retreat for Four Seasons

by Rebecca Barnes | 06 Feb 2017
The context is nature and you try to make the buildings so you can appreciate nature and the water on which they are situated
– Richard Meier

Legendary South Florida retreat The Surf Club has been reimagined by Four Seasons and is slated to open early 2017.

In the 1930s, the property was a favourite destination for world leaders, artists and Hollywood film stars, and now the iconic club has been brought back to life by architect Richard Meier and Paris-based architect and designer Joseph Dirand with 77 guest rooms, 119 private residences and a 15,000 square foot (1,400sq m) spa.

Situated on the beachfront, the spa at the Four Seasons Hotel at the Surf Club is the first spa created by Dirand in the United States. Don Genders of Design for Leisure provided consultation services.

With a design that focuses on maximising light, clean lines and functional modernity, the main level features white, blue and green tones which echo the ocean. Materials used include aluminium curtain walls, glass, white aluminium panels and stucco.

There are eight treatment rooms including two spa cabanas, a traditional hamman, relaxation area, spa boutique, state-of-the-art, naturally-lit fitness centre and serenity lawns for oceanfront meditation, yoga and pilates. Also on site are four heated swimming pools.

Four Seasons Hotel at the Surf Club is situated in a private enclave minutes from Bal Harbour shops and Miami Beach.

“This project means a lot to me,” Meier told CLAD. “It's a terrific site. Building on the water is very special to me. The context [of this project] is nature and you try to make the buildings so you can appreciate nature and the water on which they are situated.”

In his own words
Richard Meier on his design for The Surf Club

“This project means a lot to me,” said Meier, in an exclusive interview with CLAD. “It's a terrific site. Building on the water is very special to me. The context is nature and you try to make the buildings so you can appreciate nature and the water on which they are situated.”

Meier's transformation sees the original club restored and used as a lobby and entrance for the complex. Behind it stand two transparent 12 storey residential towers, and an 80 room Four Seasons hotel.

Speaking about the challenge of harmonising the new building with the original building, Meier said: “I wouldn't say the modern building is in harmony with it; it's sort of a counterpoint to it. It's nice to have a bit of the old with the new. We were obviously influenced by the original Surf Club, which was fortunately quite a nice building and was in very good condition, even though it hadn't been used for a while.”

The buildings are open and airy, in keeping with Meier's style. He sums up his approach as being about: “the quality of the spaces, the relationship to the context, the openness, transparency, lightness, the way the buildings respond to nature and the changing colours of nature. All of these things are a part of my architecture.”

Four Seasons  Surfside  Miami  spa  Joseph Dirand  Richard Meier 
Legendary South Florida retreat The Surf Club has been reimagined by Four Seasons and is slated to open early 2017. In the 1930s, the property was a favourite destination for world leaders, artists and Hollywood film stars, and now the iconic club has been brought back to life by architect Richard Meier and Paris-based architect and designer Joseph Dirand with 77 guest rooms, 119 private residences and a 15,000 square
SAB,HHR,HOT,ARC,DES,CLD
In the 1930s, the property was a favourite destination for world leaders, artists and Hollywood film stars / DBOX
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