July 12, 2017 | Architectural Digest
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What's Miami without a bit of Cuban flair? The Florida city's rich Cuban influences are manifesting in an unexpected new collaboration between Renzo Piano'sEighty Seven Park residences and Cuban-American artist-and-designer couple Ruben and Isabel Toledo. In a partnership conceived by David Martin, president of Terra, the project's developer, the Toledos will create all branding and marketing materials for the full-service residences, from signage to staff uniforms.
"One of the biggest dilemmas for us in real estate is how do we create a lifestyle in a way that’s not contrived," muses Martin. "So we really view illustrations as art and something that sets an example and lets people connect with the product. At the end of the day, a home is the most important assets people buy, and they take pride in it, so we want to ensure each owner that every aspect is well thought out."
In defining a lifestyle for Eighty Seven Park, Martin thought it only natural to turn to the Toledos, longtime friends of his whom he had commissioned in the past to work on other properties. "The Toledos did the Miami City Ballet costumes for their production of The Nutcracker, and they have a great connection to the city, so it felt like the right fit."
Martin sees such a holistic approach to branding as a direction in which developers should be moving. "Design isn’t just the architecture; it’s all-encompassing," he says. "The more we can introduce collaborations and commissions, that elevates the brand and creates an emotional connection to the building."
The Toledo's artistic interpretation of this connection reference everything from the property's unique surroundings to the culture of Miami. "When we commissioned Renzo, he said he wanted people to feel like they were living inside a park," explains Martin. "So we have the beach to the south, and we created little two-acre parks to the north of the residences. This nature component is something that’s not typical. You're either in the park or on the beach, but you don’t usually get both. A lot of these illustrations reference that."
So far, Terra has released Ruben's illustrations; Isabel's uniform designs will be unveiled closer to the project's fall 2018 opening date. And we can expect to see more from the Toledos in future Terra buildings, too: Martin says he plans to try to incorporate them in every project going forward, favoring their analog creations to more sterile renderings. "Their art just kind of helps ground us more in this digital age, more so than this high-tech imagery that we’ve grown accustomed to."