Project Category: Residential
Project Name: Sky Garden
Project Location: Miami Beach, Florida
Date of Completion: 2011
Architect: Raymond Jungles, FASLA, Raymond Jungles, Inc.
Contractor: Superior Landscaping and Irrigation, Inc.
The Sky Garden is a model for traditionally
underutilized rooftop space. The Architect and Landscape Architect created a balance
of aesthetic vision and practical residential needs for this unprecedented home
built on the roof of a structure that is part parking lot, part retail, part
event space and part penthouse.
The Sky Garden is a crowning touch to
an award-winning garage building at the western terminus of Lincoln Road. The
structure is recognized around the world for its bold architecture, and is one
of the most visible and recognized buildings in the City of Miami Beach. The
Architect hung the house underneath the top slab, cut into the volume. With the
garage height of seventy-five feet, the penthouse’s siting is optimized. The
residence, although exceptionally designed, is meant to be unpretentious,
deferring to the landscape for a true sense of identity.
The west side is the Sky Garden is called the Slope Garden, which
acts as the "front yard” of the residence. The high point of the Slope Garden
provides an ideal vantage point for views across Biscayne Bay towards the
Downtown Miami skyline.
The Slope Garden’s winding Zoysia grass
path creates a variety of experiential moments within the landscape.
The grass is left unmowed, to allow for its natural mounding
characteristics. Vines, including Railroad Vine, Virginia Creeper, and Grape
extend up the private elevator tower into the sky, and hang down onto the 7th
floor multi-use space below, giving parking patrons clues to the Sky Garden’s
existence. The Landscape Architect specified a custom Hydrotech system designed
for the highly-sloped condition to reduce water run-off and to extend the life
of the roof membrane.
The east side of the Sky Garden
encompasses the Entertainment Garden with a bar, outdoor dining table designed
by the Architect, and pool designed by the Landscape Architect. The open
hardscape areas are ideal for large gatherings. The Sky Garden continues the
materiality of the ground level public plaza, also designed by the Landscape
Architect. White pedra portuguesa stones were hand-laid and mortared, while
white river rock lines the organic-shaped planting beds.
The garage building’s cast-in-place
concrete slabs function as floor plates, columns and ramps. The use of concrete
and overhands is a nod to the local vernacular.
Specimen red trunk Acacia trees from Africa provide scale
and sculptural qualities while framing views towards the Atlantic Ocean beyond.
The diverse palette of native plants in addition to non-invasive specimen plant
material adopts well to the site and shallow soil depths varying from six to
thirty-six inches. The Slope Garden’s planting palette consists of Giant Silver
Bromeliad, Gulf Cordgrass, Agave ‘Gainesville Blue’, Gaillardia, Imperial
Bromeliad, Mexican Breadfruit and Seaside Goldenrod. The garden is a primarily
native, resilient and low-maintenance landscape.
The Entertainment Garden above the
renovated SunTrust Building, originally built in 1968, is an example of adaptive
reuse, preservation and innovation. What was storage for the building’s
equipment is now a spectacular pool framed by leaning Sabal palms and a verdant
vine trellis, and an outdoor dining area.
Overall, the Sky Garden’s cohesive landscape and hardscape design marries the
two structures, the open-air garage and the 1968 SunTrust building, at the roof
& de Meuron
Benson & Associates Architects
McDonald Enterprises, Inc.
Roof Systems: Intergral
Preservation Systems (Hydrotech)