Glistening in the distance, a sharp tower connects earth and sky in the north of Miami Beach. Developed by Miami’s cutting-edge Fortune International Group, the Jade Signature residential complex is the very embodiment of its name. This 57-story building is an architectural jewel artfully crafted by the Swiss team of architects, Herzog & de Meuron, embellished with interiors envisioned by the French Pierre-Yves Rochon (PYR) and further enhanced with Raymond Jungle’s harmonious landscape design.
The residential complex is masterfully centered between the turquoise waters unique to Miami’s beaches and the lively Sunny Isles District; at a short distance from Fort Lauderdale airports and the shopping experience provided by the Aventura Mall and Bal Harbour shops. The oceanfront location offers Jade Signature residents an opportunity to gaze at the mesmerizing beauty of the sea at the east and the bay and city further west. Despite the influence of the surroundings, they have not been the only elements taken into consideration during the building’s construction. Architects recognized the significant impact of the sunlight and its undisputed ability to bestow an ethereal quality upon the towers. The sun’s multiple phases and movements throughout the day were therefore, studied to select the position that would best emphasize the light’s reflection and make the most out of the sunray’s warmth.
As previously mentioned, the firm responsible for this innovative design and convenient layout is none other than Herzog & de Meuron led by a team of Pritzker Prize winning architects. The Swiss company, originally founded in 1979 by Jacques Herzog and Pierre de Meuron, has been recognized as one of the most influential producers of design in the world. Alongside its principal founders an international team of five architects overlooks the development of all projects: Christine Binswanger, Esther Zumsteg, Ascan Mergenthaler, Stefan Marbach and Jason Frantzen. This successful power group has earned numerous awards for its exemplary work across the globe, including the RIBA Royal Gold Medal (UK) and the Praemium Imperiale (Japan). Today, the Basilea based studio has extended its domain further to Madrid, London, Peking and New York where some of its offices can be found.
Aside from being co-founders of their renown architectural company, Herzog and de Meuron are also leaders of the ETH Studio Basel – Contemporary City Institute, focused on the investigation of the urban landscape and its ongoing process of transformation. Results of their research so far have been revealed in various publications; two of the most recent ones are the Metro Basel: A Model of a European Metropolitan Region (2009) and The Inevitable Specificity of Cities (2014). Their very principles of art and efficiency documented in these publications have been epitomized in the development of some of Miami’s architectural gems such as the Pérez Art Museum, Jade Signature and the 1111 Lincoln Road parking garage which obtained the Mies Crown Hall Americas Prize (MCHAP) in 2014. Most of the company’s projects, however, extend beyond the United States. Some of the buildings which have graced the landscapes of different countries are the recently completed conservation project, Tai Kwun Centre for Heritage & Arts in Hong Kong (2018) and the Forum UZH in Switzerland for the University of Zurich (2019). Ongoing works include the enlargement of the Stadtcasino Basel concert hall in Switzerland, the Royal College of Art Battersea South Campus in London, UK and the M+ cultural center for contemporary art, design and architecture in Hong Kong.
“To this day. we do not want to be slaves to a pattern of iconic buildings that would instantly communicate ‘Herzog & de Meuron’- as opposed to the new, specific location that can be created and communicated by a building.” – Jacques Herzog
Proving this point, rather than standing as an imposing edifice like so many that cast their shadows across the beach, Jade Signature opted for a less obtrusive approach. Its oblique positioning and strategic parallelogram-like structure aimed to illuminate each unit facing the ocean with natural sunlight. People can gaze at the spellbinding reflections that the play between light and shadow create across the towers’ glass walls. Their exterior is lined with columns and extensive terraces that stretch the residences’ surface by 30 per-cent. This particular feature also provides a useful shade in the warm climate and it establishes a sense of classic Parisian elegance. A careful look at the tower’s façade reveals further details that add up to its complexity such as the subtle patterns crafted into the columns’ edges and at the sides of concrete slabs or the extended floor plates and tilted glass handrails that extend through each unit’s surface.
Another focal point for Jade Signature’s design has been the sense of continuity; an unbroken link between the beach, resort deck and building. To avoid disrupting this smooth connection to the condominium’s surroundings a slender driveway, accessible from Collins Avenue, was developed for residents’ special use. By this means, drivers can enter the building from the west side and pass by the amenities deck with direct views to the ocean before parking their cars in the underground garage without losing sight of their tropical environment. Likewise, the landscape design devised by Raymond Jungles establishes a unity between the tower and space with sloping beach grounds brimming with indigenous vegetation. Coconut and Cabbage palms, Sea Grape and Buttonwood are some of the native species found in the Dune Garden which extends to Pool Garden, almost merging with the beach. At a close distance, the ample lap pool appears to be sheltered by the shade from abundant canopy trees, Sabal and Date palms and a Kapok Tree that comprise the adjoining Leeward Garden.
“The architecture has one style; very strong, and when you come inside you should bring the outside in, of course. It is my work to translate the luxury according with the style of the building.” – Pierre-Yves Rochon, interior designer.
Residents have exclusive access to this oasis through a private path linking Collins Avenue to the building’s ground floor. Once inside, the space that awaits them echoes the classic model of luxury design which is ingrained in every feature ranging from the grand circular staircases found in the two-story lobby to the curved pillars lining the corners of the tower. The 192 condominiums that comprise Jade Signature bear the mark of the Pierre-Yves Rochon’s refined style and timeless philosophy of design.
Like the building itself, the living spaces pay tribute to Miami’s tropical and urban landscape through the incorporation of state-of-the-art finishes and furnishings and natural elements such as earthly tones and wide terraces. Broad glass walls allow the sunlight to travel through the interiors past the white walls and floors unto the glistening surface of marble countertops. A glance past these walls grants residents unobstructed views of the ocean and Intracoastal Waterway horizons. The spacious residences count with a minimum of 10 feet high ceilings and a flow through layout which provide natural ventilation and ample room for the arrangement of mid-century modern furniture, contemporary artwork and curved supports that adorn the dividing walls across the building.
Jade Signature’s aesthetics are tailored towards the creation of a unique and welcoming ambience; however, the luxury experience is also presented to residents in the form of leisure activities and world class conveniences. The tower’s amenities require three floors entirely to themselves, thus offering a sense of privacy and exclusivity. Outdoors amenities embrace the recreational opportunities provided by their proximity to the ocean; they feature a beachfront resort deck which includes a swimming pool, secluded cabanas and hot tub, a beach bar and grill, wine bar, a teens’ tech longue, entertainment longue and even a toddler sensory and reading center among countless of other options. Interiors overflow with additional amenities such as high-speed elevators with LCD touch screens, a business center, reading lounge and library, a clubroom with an outdoor terrace and a breakfast section that with indoor and outdoor seating occupying the beach terrace.
“Most buildings are designed or conceived with the exterior look first and then you decide the units around it. We did the opposite basically because we are really listening to what the customer wants. This building was conceived from the inside out.” – Edgardo Defortuna, President and CEO of Fortune International.
The impressive architecture, modern interiors, lush gardens and sophisticated amenities all combine to form a unique product that families and individuals can call their own. Jade Signature’s beauty; however, is not exclusive to its residents seeing as the tower has become an underlying part of Miami’s urban composition which citizens can admire as they walk past its grand expanse.