Skip to content

The Eco-Friendly, Future-Focused Architecture of Kobi Karp

Miami architect, Kobi Karp, is no stranger to innovation and restoration. He is the mastermind behind two new skyscrapers on the Miami skyline: Empire World Towers and 1101 Brickell. But, he is also a major proponent of restoration, having worked on maintaining the beauty of Miami Beach’s historic Art Deco District.
His firm, Kobi Karp Architecture and Interior Design (KKAID), was founded in 1996 and is also based in Miami, but it has designed structures everywhere from the Caribbean to the Black Sea. Karp is known for his star partnerships with companies like Hilton, Hyatt, Club Med, and others, and he has received a flurry of recognition and rewards from organizations like the American Institute of Architects (AIA), the American Resort Development Association, and the Miami Design Preservation League.
Karp was educated at the University of Minnesota’s Institute of Technology where he earned degrees in architecture and environmental design. It was this interest in the environmental aspect of architecture that led him to spearhead the construction of “green” buildings in South Florida before it was even in vogue. Energy efficient and stylish buildings are very much a hallmark of Karp’s design.
The architectural style employed by KKAID is often an amalgamation of environmental and logistical concerns. The firm has overseen the construction of everything from low-rise, commercial, and residential structures to high-rise and mixed-use buildings. In everything Karp designs, there is a unique touch of the outside world mixed with both historical context and contemporary styling. It’s the reason why he and his firm are some of the most trusted advocates for architectural design in America.
Kobi Karp’s Projects
The Karp firm has worked on numerous projects throughout the world, some of which have been extremely high-profile. Below, you’ll find some of the most prominent projects that Karp has worked on over the years.
Art Deco District Restoration
After years of owner neglect and architectural disrepair, the Art Deco District in Miami Beach was no longer the sparkling, internationally-renowned area where high-profile guests had stayed at posh hotels since the 1930’s. Instead, many hotels in the district had leaky pipes, moldy interiors, and a rundown aesthetic. Kobi Karp, along with many other architects and concerned people in general, took to restoring the area. Karp’s firm was responsible for restoring the Breakwater, the Astor, and the Clevelander.
Of course, since the restoration in the 90’s and early 00’s, Karp has added more of his unique flair to the district. In 2005, a condominium he designed was built right next to the Congress Hotel which has been standing since 1936. The condominium complex was designed to blend in with its art deco surroundings to keep the iconic Moderne aesthetic intact.
New construction in the Art Deco District often follows a streamlined Moderne aesthetic, contextual with its 1930s neighbors.  Here the Congress Hotel designed by Henry Hohauser in 1936 sits next to a 2005 condominium by Kobi Karp, AIA.
Baylights Condominium
One of Karp’s signature projects is the Baylights Condominium complex and it’s not just because the high-profile structure offers panoramic views of the Biscayne Bay to its inhabitants. The United States Green Building Council deemed it the first “green condo development” in South Florida. The complex has 12 units, and each one is fitted with energy efficient air conditioners, green appliances, and tinted windows to keep the hot Floridian sun out. On top of that, the Japanese garden landscaping is filled with drought-resistant plant species that ensures water conservation.
One of Karp’s signature projects is the Baylights Condominium complex and it’s not just because the high-profile structure offers panoramic views of the Biscayne Bay to its inhabitants. The United States Green Building Council deemed it the first “green condo development” in South Florida. The complex has 12 units, and each one is fitted with energy efficient air conditioners, green appliances, and tinted windows to keep the hot Floridian sun out. On top of that, the Japanese garden landscaping is filled with drought-resistant plant species that ensures water conservation.
Baylights Condo Miami Beach
1101 Brickell
Although currently under construction, this residential high-rise will be an iconic sight on the Miami skyline. In fact, it will be the tallest building in the state for at least a couple of years after it’s finished. Now known as the Panorama Tower, the project will feature over 800 luxury apartments, 250 hotel rooms, and plenty of retail and office space on the lower levels.
An already completed building at the base of the future tower, the Cube, was also designed by Kobi Karp. The energy and space efficient construction has been lauded by architects and pedestrians alike.
Hyatt at 1600 Collins
Built in 1950, the Tropical Gardens Apartment building was a small and often overlooked structure in the South Beach landscape. When Kobi Karp teamed up with Hyatt to create a unique 100-unit luxury hotel, it became something different altogether. The proposal is to keep most of the original two-story building’s façade and then add on to it with eight stories of flashy glass construction. The plan calls for a centrally-located and sky-lit atrium and a rooftop pool.
Publix in Sunny Isles Beach
Kobi Karp has also been associated with a plan by grocery market chain, Publix, to devise a 21-story tower with over 350 residential units. The lower floor will consist of a 54,000 square-foot shopping center. The residential units would feature wrap-around balconies and free views of the ocean.
International Edifices
The Karp firm is known throughout the world for its innovative and modern designs. Karp has been the principal on numerous projects outside the United States including the Dongshan Tourist Center in China, the Etihad Towers in Abu Dhabi, the Baku Icon Tower in Azerbaijan, and the Queen Effat Cultural Exhibition Center in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia (among many others).
Clearly, Karp’s design intuition has far-reaching appeal for clients across the globe. His firm has worked on just about every type of construction imaginable, and each one still manages to have a distinct “Karpian” aesthetic. They are also designed with an eye on environmental practicality to make the most energy efficient and eco-friendly buildings possible.
 

Be First to Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Time limit is exhausted. Please reload CAPTCHA.