The historic Surf Club, a bastion of old Miami glamour, is being converted into a hotel and private residences in tandem with the restoration of the original 1920’s Mediterranean Revival property and the addition of contemporary towers. The Surf Club is known for its original, highly ornate, authentically detailed and proportioned Mediterranean Revival structure, designed by Russell Pancoast in 1929. The property’s unique, high-beamed and vaulted ceilings, majestic colonnades and massive fireplaces are well-known features of the club. With the idea of history and contemporary merging into one, the juxtaposition of old and new is executed by framing the historical building with four modern glass towers. Three of the towers extrude from within Russell Pancoast’s original design, creating a stark contrast between the past and present.
In the centre, a new hotel tower floats over the historic courtyard, creating an indoor glass atrium that runs four stories high. The once exclusive club becomes the hotel lobby, lounge, library, bar, restaurant, ball room, and additional public spaces, while courtyards, gardens and terraces are utilized as outdoor amenity areas. The grand ‘peacock alley’ spans from street to ocean. The club and cantilevered hotel become centrepieces between two larger glass volumes containing new residential areas. To the north, three crystalline sugar cubes are staggered away from the historic building to frame the original Mediterranean Revival structure. A southern tower boomerangs around a historic southern courtyard, as well as the club’s preserved ocean cabanas.
The inspiration behind the restoration was to keep this legendary building — which once entertained Hollywood royalty and hosted black-tie boxing events — as prestigious and luxurious as it was in its heyday. With such glamour embedded in its history, it was very important to maintain the luscious surroundings and preserve its legacy in conjunction with the new project. An integral part of the design was to ensure that all who come to Surf Club must see its history and beauty. That being said, the design of the project was positioned in such a way that anyone who enters the building must enter through the original structure. They must walk through the building and see the historic property and its ornate detailing before arriving at the new structure. The walk-through Surf Club is like a journey through time, starting with the old and ending with the new.
The Surf Club Four Seasons is the perfect marriage of old and new. Walking through the lobby and public areas, each guest can experience the high society glamour of the exclusive Surf Club. The new, glass-clad buildings are the perfect portrayal of modern society. With clean lines and a contemporary design, these buildings stand out without taking away from the beauty of the historical Surf Club. The Surf Club Four Seasons is an excellent example that “old” does not mean outdated. By blending the original intricate Mediterranean detailing of the club and elevating it to modern luxury, Surf Club is one of Miami’s hottest and trendiest hotels. All who visit can see, and fully appreciate, why the club had such prestige in its prime.