Designed by Oppenheim Architecture, the Simpson Park Hammock Pavilion is easily accessible from downtown Miami at the intersection of South Miami Avenue and SW 15th Road. Its history dates back to 1913, when residents requested that 5.5 acres of native hardwood hammock be preserved as a natural area. Since then, there have been many highs and lows and this new pavilion structure, by Miami architect Chad Oppenheim and Swiss landscape designer Enzo Enea, was part of the first phase of a public/private partnership to revitalize this historic park and return it to the community. The pavilion embodies a symbiotic relationship between nature and architecture as the structure embraces and becomes interwoven within the diverse indigenous canopy of the hammock while minimizing ecological site impact.
When approaching the pavilion design and its significance to the revitalization of the now 8-acre park to its pre-Columbian state, Oppenheim resonated with Enea's thoughts about his work as a landscape designer-- "The project is one of minimal impact and maximal effort. Really we're just letting this land be what it really is."
The result of the Simpson Park Hammock Pavilion is best said by Oppenheim himself-- "The architecture is subservient to nature. Unlike in the greater city of Miami, here we're letting nature control the built environment. In ancient times, all their buildings had to react to was the natural world, and right now the focus of my work is letting nature be the star."