Oolite Arts unveils Miami home by Barozzi Veiga

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Oolite Arts unveils Miami home by Barozzi Veiga
Barozzi Veiga’s new home for Oolite Arts is designed with the city and public in mind.

MIAMI, FLA.- Oolite Arts—one of Miami’s leading supporters of visual artists—presents architectural renderings of its new headquarters, designed by Barozzi Veiga of Barcelona. Opening in 2024, the building will be the award-winning architects’ first-ever built project in the United States and represents Oolite Arts’ status as a world class cultural center.

Oolite Arts has been supporting the arts in Miami since 1984, and the organization’s new home demonstrates its ongoing dedication to artists and the community. Located at 75 NW 72nd Street in the City of Miami, the new center is situated in a burgeoning arts district that is easily accessible within the city and close to many artist studios, homes, and galleries. The campus will expand opportunities and programming to meet the continued needs of Miami’s growing visual arts ecosystem while also enriching conversations about architecture and art in the city.

“As Miami’s cultural landscape continues to evolve, Oolite Arts is committed to lifting the city’s visual arts community,” said Dennis Scholl, President and CEO of Oolite Arts. “This new space will be a thriving cultural hub where artists can grow and come together with international visitors and neighbors alike.”

With a configuration that calls to mind a village of artists, the new building will host Oolite Arts’ signature artist residency, cinematic arts programs, lecture series, and more than 200 art classes. It will provide ample room for up to 21 free, individual studio spaces for artists, an exhibition gallery, a theater, two classrooms, a makerspace, a print studio, and the organization’s offices. There will also be a community garden and rooftop.

Since announcing Barozzi Veiga as the architects for the project in February of 2020, Oolite Arts and the firm’s Principals—Fabrizio Barozzi and Alberto Veiga—have been working in collaboration with Charles H. Benson & Associates, the local architecture partner, and Amicon, the owner’s representative. The aim is to create a home where artists and the community can access flexible, bright, and open spaces for gathering. With an interior courtyard that invites the public and incorporates rich vegetation, the project also underscores Barozzi Veiga’s standards for sustainability and the firm’s commitment to discovering the specificity of the place for which they are designing.

Barozzi Veiga has conceived of a space that prioritizes both artist and community needs, striking a balance between public and private. In addition to studios that seamlessly transform into active exhibition spaces, one of the building’s key elements is its diffused natural light, which offers artists spatial scenes in which they can realize their personal explorations. This quality is achieved by a repeated vertical typology that incorporates skylights, creates a collection of rooms, and optimizes control of the climate by powering solar chimneys and wind catchers. With these features, the architects have put forth an energy-conscious design that is set to attain LEED certification.

“In general, our projects are designed with the end-users in mind,” said Barozzi Veiga. “We wanted to give artists the best working conditions. This meant finding a balance between very intimate studios and bright public spaces for community life, which is part of Oolite’s DNA.”

When the project is completed, it will become part of Barozzi Veiga’s impressive portfolio, which includes art spaces such as the Ribera del Duero Headquarter (2011), the Auditorium Infanta Elena in Águilas (2011), the Szczecin Philharmonic Hall (2014), the Bündner Kunstmuseum Chur (2016), the Ragenhaus Musikschule in Bruneck (2018), the Musée cantonal des Beaux-Arts Lausanne (2019), the Tanzhaus Zürich (2019) and the two Artists’ Ateliers in London (2021). The firm’s work in the United States also includes a revamp of the Art Institute of Chicago master plan.

“This new campus will be the cornerstone of our mission to support artists in our community now and into the future,” said Eric Rodriguez, Chair of the Board of Oolite Arts. “We are grateful to Barozzi Veiga for realizing the Board’s vision with their exceptional design. Our entire Board, including Chair Emeritus Kim Kovel, Facilities Committee Chair Alessandro Ferretti, Vice Chair Marie Elena Angulo, and Committee Members Maricarmen Martinez and Jeff Krinsky, is thrilled to have seen this project move from an idea to a completed design.”

In addition to free studio spaces, exhibition opportunities, and studio visits with curators, Oolite Arts continues its founder’s legacy of helping artists help themselves. For nearly four decades, Oolite has supported more than 1,000 Miami-based artists through its Studio Residency program as well as its newer Home + Away Travel Residency. The organization’s acquisitions program will further the growth of local artists by increasing their representation in major collections across the country. Some of Oolite’s Alumni include Germane Barnes, william cordova, Teresita Fernandez, and Michael Richards.

“Oolite Arts redefines and elevates the practices of South Florida artists not just through funding but with an imagination and support system that filters creativity beyond conventional methodologies,” said Carl-Philippe Juste, 2021 Creator Award recipient. “It is a vital and a much-needed gasp of fresh air, exhaling equity with every breath and creating a diverse art atmosphere where we all can breathe.”

“I applaud the efforts that this organization has made in wanting to extend and explore new avenues, such as moving out of Lincoln Road, to a much larger space,” added Edouard Duval-Carrié, The Ellies 2018 Michael Richards Award Winner. “Hopefully this expansion will help to bring new artists to the city as well as help to keep the ones that are here.”

While construction takes place, Oolite Arts will continue to house its resident artists and offer programming at 924 & 928 Lincoln Road in Miami Beach. The organization is committed to maintaining a presence in this area through exhibitions and art classes.

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