A loving excavation of Miami’s colorful but neglected architectural style of the 1980s
This publication celebrates a lost vision of Miami: the architectural golden age it enjoyed in the 1980s, when the subtropical city experienced a profound synergy between art and architecture. In these years, Miami’s architects partook of the discipline’s international discourse, pushing back against the utilitarian International Style with a playful yet innovative sensibility. Firms like Arquitectonica, an experimental studio founded in 1977, introduced thoroughly modern buildings typified by abstract designs in bold colors and graphics. Unfortunately, the contributions of these firms are often overlooked, and the era’s ethos of artistic inquiry has lapsed into a crude commercialism. The 2018 case of the Babylon, a building developed by Arquitectonica that was demolished only two years after its designation as a protected landmark, served as the impetus for Miami-based architectural historian and architect Charlotte von Moos’ research. Dismayed at the negligence shown toward such remarkable projects, she assembled this authoritative guide, compiling a group of essays and a photo series that delineate the treasures, built and unbuilt, of Miami’s 1980s architecture.