OPPENHEIM Architecture, the award-winning architecture, interior design and planning firm, today unveiled its design of the Whole Foods Market located on Alton Road and 19th Street in Miami Beach. OPPENHEIM Architecture was selected by Crescent Heights, one of the nation’s largest developers to design the 40,000-square-foot market, which recently received Planning and Design Review Board approval by the City of Miami Beach.
“The elegant and ecological architecture that Chad Oppenheim and his team created for our Whole Foods Market project helped us obtain our City of Miami Beach approvals in record time,” said Russell W. Galbut, managing principal at Crescent Heights. “The pragmatic yet poetic design won the hearts of the neighbors, the city, and corporate tenants. It was a win-win scenario for all.”
Helping satiate the city’s appetite for elevated architecture expression set forth by projects created by Herzog & de Meuron, Frank Gehry, Zaha Hadid, Norman Foster and Rem Koolhaas, the new Whole Foods Market designed by Chad Oppenheim attempts to blur the boundaries between traditional and contemporary notions of place.
“Every great city needs a great market, and Miami Beach, while having many super markets is in need a market that is super. So we began by looking at the markets of ancient civilizations - Greece, Rome, those of the Islamic world, and even the Aztec capital of Tenochtitlán, when markets served as the center of communal life. We were inspired by their effortless elegance, logical practicality and ability to support public life,” said Chad Oppenheim, principal and lead designer of OPPENHEIM Architecture.
The design for the Whole Food Market features a well-proportioned grid of white concrete representing a pure expression of structure and space, establishing a pedestrian loggia at the ground level, and a floating garden above that screens the parking. Veiled behind a dimensional and diaphanous mesh supported within the super structure, the flora, selected by Urban Robot, becomes a ghosted memory of the native landscape that was Miami Beach, some of which can actually be foraged.
"The OPPENHEIM team demonstrated a remarkable ability to see the essence of the businesses blended with the desires of the locals to have a timeless community statement utilizing classic architecture embraced by the entire city. We could not have asked for more synergy," said Whole Foods Market Store Development Project Manager, Kelly Mills.
The structure, while striking in its purity and innovation, is also somehow comfortable and familiar. The harmonious rhythm of columns and beams, distorts the perception of scale, making the large building friendlier to the neighborhood. OPPENHEIM Architecture worked closely with Whole Foods to activate the majority of the public facing glass façades by inverting and celebrating the typical back of house operations such as baking, other food preparation and stores within stores. A large, landscaped plaza at the corner of the site is sure to serve as a major public gathering space of the city.
The building at 19th Street and Alton Road will be comprised of a 40,000-square-foot market, a 5,000-square-foot Wells Fargo Bank with drive through teller windows, parking for 250 cars, numerous charging stations for electric vehicles, and over 30 bike racks.