A new luxury high rise reflects a resurgent condo market in Miami Beach

November 17, 2015   |   Building Design+Construction

An 18-story oceanfront condo tower in Miami Beach with only 10 full-floor residences, which started receiving occupants last month, could be seen as a bellwether for this market’s development and sales environment. The building, called GLASS, was one of the first new residential developments to be completed in the City of Miami Beach in almost five years, and the last high-rise to be built in the desirable South of Fifth neighborhood because of zoning restrictions. Rene Gonzalez Architect designed GLASS, whose construction was started in December 2013. Its design is representative of the low-density approach of its developer, Terra Group. “We could have built up to 45 units on this site,” says Terra’s president David Martin, who owns the 14-year-old company with his father Pedro. “But our belief that ‘less is more’ in real estate, coupled with the design of Rene Gonzalez and Raymond Jungles [who did the landscape design], has delivered a stronger finished product.”  The first five floors of GLASS are common areas that include the lobby, pool, and fitness center. The building’s amenities include an onsite estate manager, pool and valet services, housekeeping and maintenance, 24-hour security, and a resident beach club. The building’s elevator, designed by artist Ivan Toth Depeña, contains an interactive installation that mimics the transition from water to sky. Each of the residence floors offers an all-glass 360-degree view. With compositional use of fritted patterned glass, the building’s exterior blends into the atmosphere by reflecting and capturing the natural landscape.