PortMiami Tower, Miami, Florida.

PortMiami Tower, Miami, Florida.

Dante B. FascellPortMiami” Tower

D E S I G N E D   B Y   W I L L I A M   H A M I L T O N   A R T H U R   A R C H I T E C T  ,   I N C .

This proposed seven-level Tower utilizes principles of traditional design, even borrowing some notes regarding cooling and shading from the Law of the West Indies― A Spanish-Colonial decree that described the manner of which to best construct buildings in the Americas.

Designed under the title The Dante B. Fascell PortMiami Tower, this concrete and glass building worked to reveal colonial design strategies that have since been obscured by modern practices. With an emergent focus on electronic systems and material technologies, modern practice too often negates simple observations of wind, building orientation, massing and arrangement.

Proposed for the western portion of Dodge Island, the PortMiami Tower seeks to measure these observations with the requirements of Miami 21, the city-adopted form-based zoning code. During the building design process, it was found Miami 21 was supportive of the colonial strategies examined. The result of the process was a building design that mediated between common Miami Modern Design practices and environmental factors. In the spirit in which the project was themed, the analysis of the building is presented in multiple formats.

The PortMiami Tower is fortunate in having ample site characteristics― Oriented to best receive the prevailing wind of summer months, the broadest surfaces of the building are carefully exposed to the windward side. This is because the largest surfaces of a building are generally those more susceptible to thermal expansion from solar gain. Excess solar gain can also promote material failure though the effects of thermal differentiation. This is an occurrence where heated materials expand at different rates. As the dissimilar materials expand and contract over time, their construction and expansion joints become more likely to fail. Although newer materials work to mitigate this effect, the performance of these materials is still associated with higher costs. This presents a challenge to Miami Modern Architecture since cost burden is a primary factor that is confronted not only the project owner, but also the builder, who is often incentivized to reduce costs.


Because the energy needed to cool the Tower was greatly reduced, was permitted much larger window openings than typically found using today’s prescriptive energy code method. The Tower employs the use of the latest insulated glass panel technology and are constructed using a special silicone glazing process. Two panes of this special glass are separated by Krypton or Xenon gas to further reduce heat transfer. These gasses are Noble gasses that are clear, odorless, relatively chemically inert and have about half the heat conductivity of the more commonly-used Argon gas.

The primary massing components of the Miami Modern Architecture of the PortMiami Tower work to visually separate the building. The Miami Modern Architecture consists of three parts— a typology called Tripartite. The first part consists of the commercial segment of the building at its first floor. The second is the utilitarian and communal functions of the building, such as the elevated lobby and mechanical equipment. This occupies the 2nd & 3rd floors and forms the building’s supportive base or— plinth. The tertiary portion of the building is formed by a four-level glass tower, containing private living spaces and roof deck. Each component of this Miami Modern (MiMo) Architecture work to meet client demands as well as reduce the building’s operational and life-cycle costs.

Height: 7-Levels at 96ft (including rooftop terrace)

 Size: 97,078 sq ft (including balconies and first floor).

Parking: 4-level (pre-cast concrete) metered facility, self-park and valet.


miami modern architecture



Behind Miami’s success and glowing international popularity, South Florida developed a unique enclave for modernist architecture of the international style.
The style was so unique it was later coined (MiMo), an acronym of “Miami Modernism”.





Behind South Florida’s MiMo Design Scene

A quick perspective of Miami’s socialite design scene in 1950.




Polevitzky— Innovation in the houses

Evaluation and history of Polevitzky’s prominent residential career.




Polevitzky— And the Habana Riviera Hotel

History behind Polevitzky’s involvement and perspective of the Habana Riviera Hotel.




The Miami-Havana Connection

Designing two Marine Ferry Terminals, re-connecting two cities.



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William is a researcher of Mid-Century Miami architecture and 3rd-generation practitioner, designing from a perspective that is both
culturally and historically-minded— an approach that earned him the AIA Henry Adams Medal in 2011.


2920 Ponce de Leon Blvd
Coral Gables, Florida 33134-6811
Tel. +1(305) 770-6100 Fax +1(305) 770-6070

E-mail info@whaiv.us


William trabaja con varios arquitectos cubanos en
La Habana. Contactar para mayor información. Es posible
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