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South Miami-Dade Cultural Arts Center

OHL-Building completed the South Miami-Dade Cultural Arts Center, a multidisciplinary center for the arts comprising two buildings. The main building features a 966-seat, state-of-the-art theatre that includes a fly tower, orchestra pit, front-of-house space (box office, lobby, restrooms and concessions, among others), back-of-house support space (dressing rooms, storage and work areas, administrative offices, etc.) and multi-purpose rehearsal spaces. It also includes a black box theatre for intimate performances and rehearsals. The second building houses an informal performance space, lab theatre, dance studio, café, and smaller flexible spaces for lectures, classes, and community gatherings.

The two buildings are joined by an outdoor promenade which can house pre-and post-show receptions. This promenade gently slopes down into a back yard lawn along the Black Central Creek Canal, which can accommodate more than 700 people for outdoor concerts and festivals. Miami-based artist Robert Chambers was commissioned to create Light Field, an innovative lighting piece that illuminates the entire translucent inner lobby wall, and changes designs created by computer-generated LED fixtures. Chambers also designed two large-scale marble sculptures for the lobby entitled Orbital 1 and Orbital 2. These pieces were inspired by Johannes Kepler’s Law of Planetary Motion and the geometric formulas of prehistoric hand tools.

Benefits to the community

The South Miami-Dade Cultural Arts Center plays an important role in the economic and cultural development of the area. It benefits local businesses and the economy by encouraging an influx of people for outdoor concerts, festivals and various events. The center’s mission includes highlighting educational and outreach activities in partnership with community groups.

Built to withstand hurricanes

The center’s location within a hurricane corridor required careful attention to the selection of exterior cladding materials. Alcoa Architectural Products’ Reynobond with Kevlar and Reynobond Aluminum Composite Material (ACM) were used to help enclose and protect the performance hall’s building envelope in its most vulnerable spots. At the main entrance, an ellipse-shaped canopy passes through the curtainwall at a 30-degree angle, changing from Reynobond with Kevlar on the exterior to traditional Reynobond ACM on the interior, with no visible color difference between the two materials. Metal was specified based on aesthetics, compliance with to wind resistance codes.