Elysee’s Architect Has Defined Miami Architecture For Decades

The daring, telescoping design of Elysee is the creation of Bernardo Fort-Brescia, whose style has been showcased on the Miami skyline since founding his firm Arquitectonica with partner Laurinda Spear in 1977. His vision of bold modern architecture has been thoroughly identified with the transformation of South Florida’s urban landscape.

Miami has a long a colorful history of iconic architecture. Celebrated examples include the Italian Renaissance and Baroque design of Villa Vizcaya, the Mediterranean Beaux Arts-style of the Biltmore Hotel, the Spanish cathedral-inspired Freedom Tower, and of course, the iconic Art Deco District. Miami architecture tours are offered by a number of local organizations to help people explore the city’s rich offerings.

Bernardo Fort-Brescia and Arquitectonica Leading Force of Miami Architecture
While the design style of buildings in the area has continued to be as diverse as the people who call it home, there is no denying that Bernardo Fort-Brescia and Arquitectonica have been the leading force in Miami architecturefor more than 40 years. A native of Lima, he followed early studies in Peru and Europe with college degrees in architecture and urban planning from Princeton and Harvard.

Following a move to Florida, Fort-Brescia and his fellow architects set up their studio in Coral Gables. Today, Arquitectonica remains one of South Florida’s most respected local firms, continuing to pioneer new design realms with its inventive use of materials, geometry, pattern and color.

Elysee is truly the quintessential Miami tower as imagined by Bernardo Fort-Brescia. He envisioned the silhouette as daring, yet strong, with the building growing in size as it rises towards the sky.

A sampling of his other local area examples of modern architecture include the award-winning designs below:

Beach House 8
The inspiration that shaped the design of this project was the sensation of arriving at hill town villas along the coast of the French Riviera. The effect of the sloped landscape of the hill town was achieved by a thoughtful stacking of the villas of Beach House 8.

The physical characteristics of the site provided Arquitectonica designers the latitude to create the custom design with no constraintsResidents slide back and forth as the building rises with dramatic views facing out to the ocean.

South Miami-Dade Cultural Arts Center
This building design is as inspiring as the performances hosted here. Highlights include a soaring 70-foot high lobby space accented by a dramatic lighting scheme from artist Robert Chambers.

Housing a 966-seat theater on three levels, the South Miami-Dade Cultural Arts Center also features an orchestra pit, stage area with fly loft space, dressing rooms, administrative offices and rehearsal room.

Miami Children’s Museum
Accented by forms that represent the elements of earth, wind, water and fire, which often feature in fairy tales, the 61,000-square-foot museum and grounds was designed for the young at heart. The design even includes a secret face hidden within one of the facades, making this piece of Miami architecture both beautiful and intriguing. Facilities include an auditorium, library, cafeteria, and classrooms, designed especially for children.

Created very early in the life of the company, The Atlantis is a landmark in modern Miami architecture that has truly stood the test of time. The provocative design still delights today with its iconic sky court — containing a whirlpool, red spiral staircase and palm tree — cut out of the center of the 20-story building.

American Airlines Arena
Located just 1.5 miles from Elysee, the American Airlines Arena is home to the NBA’s Miami Heat and host to a full calendar of top music concerts, events, theatrical productions and entertainment. The 19,600-seat indoor arena is a source of pride for the area and an important factor in downtown’s exciting growth and development.

Elysee is a masterpiece by Bernardo Fort-Brescia and Arquitectonica that residents will enjoy every day.

The Edgewood tower is under construction with occupancy planned for 2020. Owners will also enjoy private access to three full floors of sophisticated amenities, perfectly complemented by proximity to the city’s most vibrant neighborhoods. Residences now available from $1.8 million.

For more information, visit elyseemiami.com.