Argentine-American architect César Pelli will design New Town Square

Famed urban architect heads Miami’s place-making project

A group of Miami civic leaders has chosen César Pelli – a venerated Argentine-American architect known for designing some of the world’s most famous modern landmarks – to handle the master planning for the development of New Town Square, the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County’s project to ensure the artful evolution of its downtown neighborhood.

This will be a return engagement for Pelli, who was the architect for the Adrienne Arsht Center, which opened in 2006.

Choosing Pelli is one of the first major actions of the Town Square Neighborhood Development Corp., an independent nonprofit that private developer Armando Codina chairs with vice chair Manny Diaz, Miami’s former mayor.

“We came together a year ago with the goal of ensuring that the landscape of the Arsht Center District neighborhood evolves into a vibrant neighborhood supportive of what has become Miami’s cultural entertainment heart,” Codina said.

The Pelli appointment was made possible by $300,000 in grant funding from ArtPlace.

Pelli’s original two-building design of the Adrienne Arsht Center, which incorporates a 1929 Art Deco tower and has plazas at every edge, has been called an “elegant and sophisticated home for the arts.” At night, the Center’s glass-walled lobbies gleam like lanterns, beckoning South Floridians to the heart of their city.

The American Institute of Architects has listed Pelli among the ten most influential living American architects. His many awards include the 1995 AIA Gold Medal, which recognizes a body of work of lasting influence on the theory and practice of architecture. Pelli served as dean of the School of Architecture at Yale University from 1977 to 1984.

Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects has designed some of the world’s most recognizable buildings, including the World Financial Center in New York, the Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur and the International Finance Centre in Hong Kong.  In addition to the Adrienne Arsht Center, the firm has designed the Overture Center for the Arts in Madison, Wisc., and academic buildings for the performing arts for such clients as Grinnell College, Vassar College, DePaul University and the University of Minnesota Duluth.

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