Photographer: Chris Goodney/Bloomberg

Inside Miami’s Faena District, a New Destination for Architecture

Forget Art Basel. The biggest news out of Miami Beach these days is the ever-evolving Faena District, a massive masterplanned arts/entertainment/residential development that stretches four blocks along Mid-Beach between the Atlantic Ocean to Indian Creek. Argentinian developer Alan Faena enlisted starchitects Rem Koolhaas and Norman Foster, and even film director Baz Luhrmann, to create an arts-laden "utopian" city-within-a-city. As the hotel opens Dec. 1, let's take a look at the $1 billion development's progress.

  1. Faena House

    Faena House

    Designed by Foster + Partners, the Faena House condos sit at Collins Avenue and 34th Street in Mid-Beach, north of Miami's famous South Beach Art Deco District. It has 42 residences spread over 18 floors with distinctive wraparound balconies, dubbed aleros by the developers.

    Photographer: Chris Goodney/Bloomberg

  2. Jeff Koons

    Jeff Koons

    A monumental Jeff Koons, Coloring Book, greets residents for now. The piece from the artists' "Celebration Series" is on loan in the Faena District.

    Photographer: Chris Goodney/Bloomberg

  3. Residence Lobby

    Residence Lobby

    Colorful light plays on the polished concrete walls and stone floors, thanks to a 29-foot-high, site-specific installation by Carlos Cruz-Diez called Transchromie Faena. Although out of the frame, water features pass from the lobby into the landscaping out front, designed by Raymond Jungles.

    Photographer: Chris Goodney/Bloomberg

  4. Porte-cochère


    The building is already colloquially known as the "15 Central Park West of Miami," with reported buyers including Kenneth Griffin, Larry Gagosian, Leon Black, and Lloyd Blankfein. The 12,516-square-foot penthouse (with private rooftop pool) sold for $60 million, a new Miami record.

    Photographer: Chris Goodney/Bloomberg

  5. Saxony Reborn

    Saxony Reborn

    Next door to the Faena House is the Faena Hotel Miami Beach. The 14-floor, 169-room property reinvents the historic Saxony Hotel, a playground for Hollywood elite in the 1950s and '60s.

    Photographer: Chris Goodney/Bloomberg

  6. Fountain


    A week prior to the hotel's soft opening on Tuesday, plenty of finishing touches were still to be done. Here, a worker paints a globe that'll be the centerpiece of a fountain just outside the hotel's entrance.

    Photographer: Chris Goodney/Bloomberg

  7. Side Entrance

    Side Entrance

    The public grand opening will be on Dec. 21, 2015. Rooms rates will start at $745 per night.

    Photographer: Chris Goodney/Bloomberg

  8. Oceanfront Suite

    Oceanfront Suite

    Room furniture is all custom-made, designed by Alan Faena, who collaborated with film director Baz Luhrmann and costume designer Catherine Martin on the overall vision. The goal: glamorous 1950s, sumptuous Art Deco, and old-world appeal.


    Photographer: Chris Goodney/Bloomberg

  9. Balcony


    Art continues into the outdoor space with this peacock painting dividing one balcony from the next. Views look out over the palm trees of the private pool area and the Atlantic Ocean. The Faena Playa beach club will eventually be situated on 100,000 square feet of sand.

    Photographer: Chris Goodney/Bloomberg

  10. Suite Bedroom

    Suite Bedroom

    Be it in textiles, or leather, or the Deco design of the handmade rugs contrasted with hardwood floors, Alan Faena and Catherine Martin love a passionate red. Each hotel floor comes with a dedicated butler to help guests channel their own passions. 

    Photographer: Chris Goodney/Bloomberg

  11. Faena Iconography

    Faena Iconography

    Designed by Dutch duo Studio Job, the Faena logo (a traditional Argentinian hat worn by gauchos) is embroidered on a guest pillow.

    Photographer: Chris Goodney/Bloomberg

  12. Bathroom


    Large blue Chevron-tiled bathrooms come with freestanding white marble tubs and Toto high-tech toilets.

    Photographer: Chris Goodney/Bloomberg

  13. Toiletries


    Tierra Santa products have been created in house as the exclusive amenity for Faena. They are inspired by Alan Faena’s beach home in Uruguay.

    Photographer: Chris Goodney/Bloomberg

  14. Faena Hotel Miami Beach

    Faena Hotel Miami Beach

    “What Alan Faena, Ximena Caminos, and their team are doing is unique, brave, and unlike anything attempted before in Miami,” said Baz Luhrmann and Catherine Martin about the District.

    Photographer: Chris Goodney/Bloomberg

  15. Faena Forum

    Faena Forum

    Across the street from the Faena House sits the Faena Forum, designed by Pritzker Prize-winning Rem Koolhaas/OMA. Set to open in 2016, the 50,000-square-foot building will be a multidisciplinary arts and culture center overseen by Faena's wife, Ximena Caminos. 


    Photographer: Chris Goodney/Bloomberg

  16. More to Come

    More to Come

    Looking northeast from Collins Avenue and 33rd Street, the under-construction Faena Versailles Classic will offer 22 residences in the shell of the former Hotel Versailles. Yet to rise is a completely new sister tower, Faena Versailles Contemporary. 



    Photographer: Chris Goodney/Bloomberg

  17. Aerial View

    Aerial View

    An aerial rendering shows the ambitious scale of the entire Faena District. Also still to come: a brand-new retail shopping complex (Faena Bazaar), high-tech garage (Faena Park), and Marina on Indian Creek, all designed by Rem Koolhaas/OMA. Rounding it all out is Casa Claridge’s, a 50-room "beachside guesthouse" in the former El Paraiso Apartments.

    Source: Faena/OMA