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09-09-20 | Feature

Firms of Florida - Curtis+Rogers Design Studio

South Miami

American Airlines Arena, Miami, Florida
Designed by Arquitectonica, the arena is home to the Miami Heat and is the venue for shows, concerts and public events. The 19-acre site is on the Bay at the heart of downtown Miami in what used to be an underutilized area of the city between downtown and the Performing Arts complex. Curtis + Rogers was responsible for site paving, stairs, ramps, grading, planting, and irrigation, of the plazas, rooftop terraces and at grade landscape areas as well as the design of the patterned walkway along Biscayne Boulevard, which mimics the historic Burle Marx design.
Marine Stadium Restoration, Miami, Florida
This project encompasses a 9-acre site that features the historically designated Miami Marine Stadium structure and its entry circle and adjacent water basin. The stadium, designed by Cuban American architect Hilario Candela, with its iconic dazzling architecture and its waterfront setting with spectacular views of downtown Miami, once hosted boat races in the adjacent basin and concerts on floating stages. The city closed the stadium in the wake of Hurricane Andrew in 1992, and it has remained closed since. The stadium is located on a low-lying area of Virginia Key, where resiliency to sea-level rise had to be forefront in the design, but also embrace the historical significance of the landmark, and the ecology of the waterfront venue. The project will showcase Miami's resiliency with a new attraction that will engage and adapt to the forces of climate change and sea level rise.
Wings of Asia Aviary, Miami, Florida
Envisioned after Hurricane Andrew destroyed the existing aviary within Miami-Dade Zoo Miami in 1992, the new enclosure covers 3.5 acres and is the largest open-air Asian aviary in the Western Hemisphere. The landscaping includes different habitats such as wetlands with an underwater viewing area, waterfalls, and tree canopies with primarily Asian vegetation acclimated to South Florida for the birds. The greatest challenge was to use vegetation that was compatible with the 300 rare and endangered Asian birds that call this aviary home. There are over 70 species, each having their own habitat requirements.
Flagler Street, Miami, Florida
Once Miami's vibrant historic downtown Main Street, the area is lined with historic buildings. Curtis + Rogers' revitalization design plan for this 1/2 mile downtown core reflects the rich history of the railroad's importance in the development of the city (the street is named for Henry Flagler who built the railroad) while creating a flush, festival street with wider sidewalk space with shade trees to create a more pedestrian-friendly retail destination that can be closed off for events. The groundbreaking design integrated innovative techniques in tree growth and stormwater management and utilized suspended pavement to allow for maximum tree growth and maximum sidewalk space for outdoor dining.
Wilkie D. Ferguson Jr. U.S. Federal Courthouse, Miami, Florida
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This federal building occupies a 7-acre, two city blocks in downtown Miami with 80 percent of the site being open space. The abundance of space surrounding the building was designed to be an urban arboretum and consists of an undulating plaza with a large variety of subtropical trees and palms with large shaded public seating areas throughout and is accented by a large green rippled lawn designed by Maya Lin. The site provides much needed green space to the urban fabric of downtown Miami.
Ransom Everglades School, Miami, Florida
Located in the heart of Miami's Coconut Grove on Biscayne Bay, this prestigious and historic private school was founded in 1903 by Paul Ransom upon the principles of Environmental Stewardship. Curtis + Rogers has worked on several projects for the 19-acre school including the Landscape Master Plan, the Entry Loop, The "Green" Student parking lot, and a buffer wall, all within an environmentally sensitive area. Many specimen sized trees were relocated instead of removing to make way for these improvements, which have greatly increased the amount of open space on the campus.
Benjamin P. Grogan and Jerry L. Dove Federal Office Building, Miramar , Florida
Curtis + Rogers conceived the "Everglades Landscape" concept for this federal office building in Miramar which was developed during the alternative concept phase of the project. The vision was to restore the 9-acre site through vegetation and stormwater management to its original wetland habitat (the unique Everglades ecosystem) which still exists just west of this site. The approach assisted in successfully achieving credits for the sustainable sites initiative and created a unique and exciting approach to landscape design in South Florida.
Southwest Streetscape and Street Tree Master Plan, Miami, Florida
The Southwest Streetscape and Street Tree Master Plan is an ambitious project for the City of Miami, encompassing 776 miles of public right of ways, the project addresses the interconnectedness of the City's natural resources, proposes alternative solutions making the streets more resilient to sea level rise and global warming. At its conclusion, the goal for the project is to develop a blueprint for the City's use as a tool for implementing greater resiliency within the street conditions of the project area. C+R is the lead on this project with collaboration with LOLA (Local Office of Landscape Architecture), BCC Engineering, and ESciences. The team will be developing Pilot Projects for the City to test implementation of the strategies developed.

We build resilient landscapes for a sustainable future. Our small, minority-owned landscape architecture firm has made a significant impact on South Florida's public realm for nearly three decades. Our 12-person studio has brought innovative solutions to significant urban infrastructure projects on the federal, state, county and city levels. From its founding in 1991, C+R has worked on sustainable public and private sector designs in harmony with highly sensitive areas such as the edge of the Everglades, the Miami River, the Biscayne Bay coastline and an entire region that is ground zero for climate adaptation. Along with registered landscape architects, C+R staff includes professionals with environmental, artistic, legal, architecture and 3-D design expertise - to ensure a creative, holistic approach. As a Hispanic female, Aida Curtis takes great pride in constantly nurturing and mentoring a diverse team of young landscape architects. She also has created significant pro bono works in her native Honduras - to improve education, environment and economy in one of the poorest nations in Latin America.

Editor's Note: With the ASLA annual meeting and EXPO in Miami canceled this year due to safety concerns amid the COVID-19 health pandemic, LASN still wanted to highlight the landscape architectural work of firms from the southeast region. LASN asked the firms to send us a short biographical profile, plus photography from selected projects, with a brief description of the design work for each project. We let the firms speak for themselves in their profiles and in describing the projects, although some editing was required because of space restraints and not all photography and projects could be included. Thank you, firms of Florida and Alabama for participating!

As seen in LASN magazine, September 2020.

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