Miami’s Shulman + Associates fuses London-based social club with beachfront lifestyle
S+A designed this hotel and private club for the London-based Soho House group. Sited in a densely-populated area of Miami Beach, the project involved the restoration and retrofit of the historic Sovereign Hotel (1940) along with a new 15-story oceanfront tower. Overlooking the ocean, Soho Beach House includes 50 bedrooms, a private beach, a Cowshed Spa and gym. Amenities include two pools, indoor and outdoor dining, secluded gardens, a screening room and Cecconi's restaurant, which is open to the public.
The site lies at the northern edge of the Collins Waterfront Architectural District, listed on the National Register in 2011. It bridges diverse urban ecologies (massive hotels to the north and lower rise buildings to the south) both physically and programmatically. Its tower acts as a punctuation point to the urban hotels southward. A rich array of programme was added to the narrow, hemmed-in site, accommodating the mash-up of resort and club identities.
S+A's design promotes indoor-outdoor connectivity with spaces flowing from street-facing entry court to the pool, garden, dune and ocean beyond. Separate topographies are vertically and horizontally layered within the site's narrow open space. Beyond the lobby, the historic courtyard has been extended eastward. It is covered with a 100 foot long retractable awning, a technical feat that allows the courtyard to be both indoor and outdoor, and effectively house Cecconi's.
To make the most of the limited space, the site is terraced up toward the beach dune in a manner that frames the pool deck. A suite of outdoor public spaces on the second floor similarly projects toward the ocean, capturing a terrace beneath the volume of the new tower. The tower's two-story penthouse creates the final topography: staggered patios are tucked beneath a protective concrete canopy, creating a multilevel outdoor living room.
The new tower sits in dialectic opposition to the historic hotel body. Whereas the historic hotel is a masonry box, the tower is its alter ego: a frame-like structure supporting cantilevered trays to maximize outdoor living space and indoor-outdoor connections. Aluminum brise-soleils along the face of the slender tower filter sunlight and enhance shade and privacy, allowing guests to comfortably experience the outdoors on the deep concrete slab balconies.