Protected building given new life

Bacardi sells Miami Tower and Museum to YoungArts for discounted rate

by Sian 04 October 2012

In a generous gesture of philanthropy, the wine and spirit producer Bacardi has sold its Miami Bacardi Tower and Museum to the non-profit National YoungArts Foundation (YoungArts) at a knocked-down rate so that the organisation can set up its first national headquarters.

The complex is comprised of an eight-storey tower designed by Enrique Gutierrez and tiled with 28,000 blue and white panels by Brazilian artist Francisco Brennand, and an annex building designed by Ignacio Carrer-Justiz with glass mosaic walls created from designs by Johannes Dietz.

The pair of structures was given historic recognition by the City of Miami Preservation Board in 2009 and in recognition of the importance of its new home, YoungArts has added a new discipline of Architecture and Design to its existing discipline list.

Renowned architect Frank Gehry has been brought on by the foundation to help reimagine a new masterplan for the campus, respectful of the landmark architecture already in place. Gehry will offer a mentorship opportunity for the Architecture and Design Department at YoungArts in Miami. Gehry will work on the project with artistic advisors Placido Domingo.

Speaking on the news, Gehry declared: “I have been a mentor to some of the YoungArts students and know what a tremendous impact this organisation has on them. It’s a privilege to help make a new home for YoungArts so it can do even more for these wonderful young people.”

This sentiment was echoed by Chairman of the Board of Bacardi Limited, Facundo L. Bacardi, who said: “For nearly 50 years, these buildings have symbolised the pride of both the Bacardi family and company, reflective of their passion for producing fine premium spirits while being engaged with the very best of art and life in Miami and in helping that culture to flourish.

"I have seen the tremendous benefit in promoting the arts and Miami as a cultural hub and couldn’t be more proud to have this organisation continue the legacy of community dedication that started inside these buildings in 1963.”

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