A townhouse typology leads to 100 percent space efficiency and reignites the romance of Miami Beach’s Art Deco period.

Located in the South Pointe district of Miami Beach, this 22,000-square-foot apartment complex was a catalyst for regeneration in what is now an upscale area. Efficiency drove the design of Ilonabay, achieved by pushing the zoning codes to extract the maximum efficiency from the site through careful planning of the townhouse format, resulting in 100 percent of the allowable floor area ratio being saleable.

We departed from the area’s 1960s condominium architecture and reached further back to Miami Beach’s Art Deco heritage—the largest collection of Art Deco buildings in the world. The streamlined, Cubism-inspired forms of the originals led a contextual response to an identity the neighborhood is famous for. While we have avoided obvious references or decorative elements, we’ve built in the spirit and scale of the era, creating abstract forms and celebrating today’s engineering. 

The footprint has eight two-story townhouses elevated above a garage, each with its own front door, private stair, and courtyard. Human in scale, with rhythms that recognize individual units, each residence has a sense of privacy and identity within the block. Dynamic manipulations of scale through solid and void have created an open and sculptural city block connected with the street, as well as outdoor living opportunities afforded by the climate. On the rooftop, a two-story penthouse with a pool terrace addresses the bay and the downtown Miami skyline with a soaring structure that frames long-distance views and provides enclosure.

All aspects of this project are designed to ignite the optimal way of life in the spirit of Miami and its oceanfront location. From the aromatic gardens to sky courtyards to a cantilevered rooftop pool that seemingly disappears into the bay, the architecture acts as an amplifier and filter for this lifestyle and urban context.

Miami Beach, Florida, USA
22,000 SF
Project Team
Chad Oppenheim, Juan Calvo, Leslie Abraham, Carola Gomez, Rodrigo Londoño, Ken Sharon
Image Credit
Laziz Hamani, Ken Hayden