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Koolhaas to design a new Miami space

The Dutch architect is designing the Faena Arts Center, which is due to open in July 2015

Koolhaas’s design for the Faena Arts Center

The Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas is designing a new arts centre, which is due to open in July 2015, for Miami Beach. It is part of a $750m development of six city blocks on Collins Avenue led by the Argentinian property developer Alan Faena, who revitalised a run-down area of Buenos Aires with a similar scheme.

“In Buenos Aires, we created a district with art, green spaces, music and food in a neighbourhood that had been abandoned for 100 years,” says Faena, who hopes to replicate this success by building a new area of hotel, residential, retail and arts spaces at 30th and 31st Streets.

This will include a revamped 1940s hotel, the Saxony, which Faena is reimagining with the help of the Australian film director Baz Luhrmann and his wife Catherine Martin, who will “curate the guest experience”; a new residential building designed by Norman Foster; and a garage and art gallery, both designed by Koolhaas.

The gallery, which will be known as the Faena Arts Center, will follow a similar exhibition programme to its counterpart in Buenos Aires, which opened two years ago, says Ximena Caminos, the executive director of both spaces. The Argentinian gallery has held shows devoted to Ernesto Neto, Franz Ackermann, the Argentinian artist Navarro and the Cuban artist collective Los Carpinteros, among others. It also hosts the annual $75,000 Faena Prize for the Arts, Latin America’s biggest award for visual artists.

In Miami, Caminos is commissioning a giant video installation by the Russian arts collective AES+F and is in talks with the Argentinian artist Tomás Saraceno to create a site-specific piece. The new centre will also host an annual arts prize, while a retail building nearby will launch an artists’ residency programme.

Faena’s business partner in the development is the Ukrainian-born billionaire Len Blavatnik.

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