Raymond Jungles: This redesign for the historic promenade and plaza at 1111 Lincoln Road, developed concurrently with Herzog & de Meuron’s now-iconic parking garage, completely revitalized the westernmost block of Lincoln Road Mall. Native plants and hardscape elements are carefully placed to create various vantage points and visual corridors for pedestrians—one of the project’s main goals. Sight lines through the block are also preserved thanks to massings of low plants and high tree canopies to ensure that visitors can engage with retail, residential, and restaurant spaces along both sides of the street.
The result is a civic space unlike any other in the city; the City of Miami Beach Planning Department’s assistant director dubbed the project “the Urban Glade.” To bring nature into the center of Miami Beach along this roadway-turned-greenway, Jungles looked to the Everglades—a region with unique characteristics and a wide variety of indigenous plants—for inspiration. An ensemble of trees native to Florida and geometric water gardens reminiscent of the famous wetland ecosystem create an inviting gathering space, and turtles, fish, and the sounds of gently cascading water enliven the setting. The highly reflective pond surfaces also mirror the sky, trees, and human visitors, adding extra dimension to the narrow urban site.
Specimen cypress trees anchor the display of vegetation within the plaza; other indigenous trees also feature prominently in the design, including live oaks, pond apples, red mangroves, and Sabal palms. One non-native tropical wetland tree was included as well—a Guiana chestnut tree. This “money tree” is indigenous to Central and South American countries. Besides tolerating shade and high water tables, it is a symbol of good fortune. It was selected for all these qualities, and was placed where other trees would falter. The pond-maintenance equipment and mechanical systems for the entire 1100 block are contained in a sculptural vault that is melded into the design of the plaza through a series of stepped platforms. These reduce the impact of its necessary scale, which is further concealed by plants that cascade and a water element that trickles or flows slowly between the bold roots of the red mangroves. Climbing to its top level has become a local tradition for adventurous children and adults, and each stage of the ascent also provides a new vantage point over the area. The wonderful qualities and materiality of Brazilian pedra portuguesa led to its use on the ground plane and throughout the project’s other hardscape features. Its mosaiclike texture adds a handcrafted quality to the space and has the additional benefit of gently discouraging skateboarders. Each stone was laid by hand in the style of Roberto Burle Marx, the visionary Brazilian landscape designer. Generously proportioned concrete benches accommodate daily visitors as comfortably as small crowds viewing performances in the space. The opportunity for spontaneous human interaction now abounds in this reinvigorated area.
Lead Designer: Raymond Jungles, FASLA
Project Type: Urban Plaza/Civic Space
Size: 43,560 sf
Year of Completion: 2009
Address: 1111 Lincoln Road, Miami Beach, FL
Landscape Architect of Record/Firm: Raymond Jungles, Inc.
Client/Owner: Robert Wennett and the City of Miami Beach
Photography credit: Stephen Dunn Photography, Steven Brooke Photography
Scope: Complete redesign of west entry of 1100 block of Lincoln Road. Creation of a pedestrian plaza including an evaluation of site features and constraints for public spaces, grading, drainage, planting and hardscape design, water features, site lighting. Project required careful coordination of the design and construction of an urban public space.
Herzog & de Meuron, Design Architect
G.T. McDonald Enterprises, Inc., General Contractor
Superior Landscaping, Inc., Landscape Contractor
Sean Jacobus Company, Inc., Specimen Tree Broker
Plant Creations, Inc., Landscape Contractor for Donated Plants
Leni Schwendinger, Light Projects LTD., Lighting Consultant
Kimley-Horn and Associates, Inc., Civil Engineer
Biscayne Aquaculture, Aquatic Consultant
James Urban, Urban Soil and Tree Consultant
Bullis Bromeliads, Bromeliad Donations
Deep Root Partners, Silva Cell Installation/Design
Product Sources [required for built projects]:
Plants – See Plant List
Hardscape – Concrete and Pedra Portuguesa Stone
Lighting – Provided by Light Products LTD.
Structures –Interactive Artwork by Dan Graham
Awards: 2012 Award of Excellence in Landscape Architecture, Miami Chapter American Institute of Architects
2011 Award of Excellence, Florida Chapter American Society of Landscape Architects
2011 City of Miami Beach Beautification Award