Miami Athletic Center 

Designer: Joseph_Wei Chao-Chun, Moses Goldberg 
Time: 2023 spring   
Location: Miami, FL, USA

The river flows upon river. Every river shapes the pattern of inhabitation and way of living along, villages and towns grow and prosper. Slopes and stairs wind along staggered levels, windows look in window beyond window. And as stacked and superimposed upon each other, the rivers form gradients. Connected and bridged, the levels of inhabitation take on the complexity to act as a dynamic whole, mixed and used as the river flows.

The base is the everglade of programs stretches across its nourished prairie. Organized with movement, adhered to convention of annotated growth, and aggregated as chances. The path unfolds itself within, and grabs onto tissues and blocks of events along its side. These collapsed to the inside while something other than that wraps gentling around. The core and the crust share a planet while using different languages. What if the planet is folded inward, and mankind, with their civilization creations inhabit in the middle — to that day the landscape will be the expression of us to the universe that tells a different story…

Miami Athletic Center stretches diagonally across the site like a gateway by the freeway at the tip of future Freedom Park. It is raised three stories above a plinth stage that sits atop the ground. Accessed from cascading stairs, ascended via elevator cores and escalators, one arrives at the main concourse at second level, which is a huge catwalk that spans across the top edge of sport venues. Through the branching circulation elements, one orients upwards, downwards, or horizontally into the programs organized along the four major corridors. The sport facilities collection consists of a basketball stadium, community practice courts for tennis, racquetball, and basketball, a public swimming pool with sauna, and a gym. Dispersed across multiple levels are recurring gradients of offices, retail spaces and restaurants. Hotels are located at the top two levels facing the other sport structures in the vicinity. Offices and co-working space are clustered at one end, while most areas dedicated to retail are on the third and fourth level. The entire plan on the plinth is opened up, with various shapes of circulation cores creating a forest of playfulness free for wondering.

The interior is a landscape of aggregated blocks, connected through elements of slops, stairs, and escalators that mediate among split levels. The inner face surrounding the stacked circulation is punctured with forms of openings, walkways and roofscapes that traverse voids and solids, weaving views with movements across levels. The complexity of the interior is wrapped with a skin that sometimes encloses the drama inside, while occasionally reveals parts through protruding decks, outdoor terraces, and opening continuities. Mezzanines and “space within space” add to the variation, while geometrical language of rectangular shapes, circles and degree-two splines conducts a symphony of diverse windows, spatial division, and internal roofs around major circulating spine. The sequence of space is choreographed in plan with praxis, written down in section like notes of music. Frames after frames of rhythmic walks and visual transition reverberates with the instruments of the architecture, magnifying among the field a kind of intimate yet generous spatial experience. The skin sums up the entirety of this interiority, adding another layer of linguistic richness, interstitial light and shadows, and some memories.

The memories the profane, which is shared as something common yet mutate locally. The absence of dictates and the additions of normal provide a sense of place. Like the river flows, nothing is new, but all is new.

Site Plan