Today, the Town Square Neighborhood Development Corporation (“TSNDC”) – the nonprofit organization created to foster development of Miami’s Town Square neighborhood – unveiled an aspirational vision for Town Square Plaza, a multifunctional space that will promote community gathering in the thriving urban core. The design encompasses the area south of The Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County and underneath the proposed I-395 “signature bridge”.
“In advance of the I-395 Reconstruction RFP advertisement, we wanted to share our vision of what the street-level experience could be,” said TSNDC Chair Armando Codina. “This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to design the signature structural bridge and the area under the highway in a way that historically changes the downtown Miami landscape for the better.”
TSNDC commissioned PlusUrbia Design to develop the plaza concept in partnership with the Arsht Center. The end result is a public plaza that offers a multi-use space that will provide art, green spaces, valet parking and interactive play areas.
According to Alan Fein, chair of the Performing Arts Center Trust board of directors, now is the time to advocate for the importance of open and flexible space.
“Town Square Plaza presents a new opportunity to not only recreate the vista at the Arsht Center’s front door, but to improve the connectivity between our community and the arts and cultural institutions in the vicinity of the signature bridge,” said Fein.
Michael Spring, senior advisor, Miami-Dade County Office of the Mayor and director, Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs echoed Fein’s comments, “FDOT already has demonstrated a strong commitment to achieving a sophisticated solution for I-395. Now, the vision that TSNDC has shared with us has the potential to extend these high standards for quality urban design to create a civic commons that will benefit the people and image of our community.”
“The plaza creates a public lobby for the Arsht Center and a multifunctional space for Downtown. The design turns a challenging space into a vibrant gateway,” PlusUrbia director Juan Mullerat added. “We are excited to be part of this legacy in creating new urban places that embrace the multicultural heritage of Miami and break down longstanding barriers that stood between communities that can now come together as one.”
“The vision was clear, create a picturesque space that not only complements the signature bridge above but also redefines the experience for residents and visitors”.
The TSNDC master plan was originally presented in 2012 by Cesar Pelli, senior principal at Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects, the original architect for the Arsht Center.