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Exclusive Facts about Modern Miami ArchitectureMonday 2 November 2015
After publishing the article about an architectural and design movement Tropical Modern, the CovetED Magazine got really interested in this issue and succeeded to find out more about modern architecture in Miami. You are lucky to know why the professional and leader Ralph Choeff decided to become an architect and the main principles of Choeff Levy Fischman’s partnership.
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CovetED Magazine: In terms of architecture, why have you decided to be involved in this field?
Ralph Choeff: I was always interested in architecture. Architecture is a sculptural interpretation of where and how we live and work, and that always interested me.
CM:What is the most exciting thing about building Tropical Modern homes? What are the benefits of living there?
RC: Tropical Modern is very conducive to a relaxed lifestyle. Combining the inside and outside with the use of tall and expansive openings with tall sliding glass doors that fully open allows the owner to take advantage of the views and climate afforded by the region in which they live. The open floor plans add drama to the space and allow clear communication between spaces. The interior finishes also incorporate warm materials combined with those that are more angular and hard in order to create a spa-like atmosphere. There is a Zen-like quality to the architecture which tends to relieve the stresses of everyday life.
CM: Please define the main principles of Choeff Levy Fischman’s partnership.
RC: To design spaces using the principles of indoor-outdoor living which allow people to take full advantage of their surroundings: views and climate, which leads a more relaxed lifestyle. High quality of design is of utmost importance to this firm and something that we take great pride in. CLF Architects is the leader in our region in Tropical Modern architecture that also incorporates mid-century modern elements. Environmental Design is also incorporated into our projects which goes a long way toward making them successful.
CM: The readers of CovetED Magazine are interested in the main concept of the Tropical Modern movement. Can you tell us more about how the ideas popped up?
RC: This movement started in South America. It is a combination of living inside and outside simultaneously. Tropical Modern incorporates indoor-outdoor living with open spaces and an informal and more relaxed lifestyle. At CLF, we take mid-century modern concepts and combine them with natural materials such as wood, stone, board formed concrete, as well as other elements in order to warm up the architecture and reflect the materials and the climate of the region that we live in.
CM: Among all designed projects that include hotels, office buildings, shopping centers and multi-family developments, what was the most extraordinary one that you will never forget working on it?
RC: There have been quite a few. The design of the residence for baseball star Alex Rodriguez comes to mind, as it was one of CLF’s first forays into Tropical Modern architecture and the incorporation of true indoor-outdoor living. The project was highly successful. Alex had a great deal of input to the architecture and design of the residence which really facilitated the entire process. The second would be the design of the Mondrian South Beach Hotel. This allowed us to create a playful atmosphere in conjunction with the “funky” architectural elements requested for the design. CLF worked in conjunction with Marcel Wanders in order to create a fun vacation space and take advantage of extraordinary bay views on Miami Beach.
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CM: How have you breathed warmth into the somewhat chilly modernism with this architectural and design movement?
RC: The use of natural materials that define the region and its climate greatly contribute to warming up the modernist style of architecture. We rely on the use of water features in many of our designs in order to create not only a warmer space, but also a space that has Zen-like qualities.
When you are going to visit Miami, you may get closer to the modern style of movement in the architecture. Do not forget about Modern Tropical Architecture which is worth visiting!