Learn about our Miami Architecture Team.
We are at 2920 Ponce de Leon Blvd, Coral Gables, under the Arthur Murray Dance studio and across Ponce Park. We are open to the public
from 8am – 630pm Monday thru Friday.
WHAA is a Full-Service, Third-Generation Firm for architecture in Miami. With a heritage originating in Miami since 1949, WHAA was created by William Hamilton Arthur IV in 2015. WHA Architect works in Miami’s most diverse and Culturally- Sensitive neighborhoods. Our buildings are Efficient, Environmentally- Sensible and Historically- Minded.
Our experience is comprehensive— We Design, Procure and Manage all of our own Construction in Miami. Our Miami clients have brought us into all sectors; Restaurant, Retail, Residential, Multi-family, Hospitality, Manufacturing and Aviation.
We are located at 2920 Ponce de Leon Blvd, downtown Coral Gables; the district George Merrick designed for Artists and Architects in 1924.
We have a strong commitment to the Environment— we consider the overall impact on both Miami’s built and unbuilt Environments. Our traditions of passive energy design, open-air environments and atmospheric transparency came from our research, and were adopted from our roots with prominent Miami Modern (MiMo) architect, Igor B. Polevitzky, FAIA.
We represents an important change in the industry— Our Miami firm for Architecture alleviates the need to hire and coordinate additional consultants because we offer comprehensive project design, management and planning. We perform Plumbing, Mechanical, Electrical and Structural design for most of our projects in-house, decreasing delivery and permitting times.
Our projects are effective— A report by Professional Bank, of Miami found that new residential projects managed by us are constructed for about 25% less than the average firm in Miami.
See Our Projects.
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We are committed to the built and un-built Environment, and a Carbonfree® Carbon-Neutral business through Carbonfund®SEE OUR PROJECTS
“The main concept for this 4,380 square-foot Shorecrest residence evolved around a 2-level stair atrium, open to the sky and flanked on all sides by the main living space and guest bedrooms.”
There is a privileged view too which organizes the building, that is the waterfront which organized the main living space in the house.
Located in the Shorecrest neighborhood of Miami, the owner recognized three examples from Jan Hochstim’s 2005 Rizzoli publication titled Florida Modern. Jan, having recently passed away, was a friend and neighbor of my grandfather, to whom I dedicate the design of the house. The house follows simple design principals and features several large cantilevered surfaces intended to provide both presence and shading in a previously vacant lot. It was important to the owner that the home be both simple and iconic in nature, and reflects the vernacular to the South Florida environment as well.
With the Shorecrest residence, I highlighted the ideals of mid-century thinking learned from the Florida Modern book, except using today’s technology and materials. As the home is located among several Alfred Browning Parker Homes, we also used their presence to influence some of the home’s design features.
The most distinctive element of the Shorecrest residence is a 14ft reinforced concrete cantilever at the roof , hovering 25ft above. In between, a full-length, cantilevered balcony (10′ projection x 53′ wide) accessed from the main house by a large panoramic window system having (3) openings. When opened, the balcony creates an outdoor living space analogous to a loggia, absent of any columns.
History of Coconut Grove – A backstory:
Coconut Grove is the oldest continuously-inhabited neighborhood of Miami in Miami-Dade County, Florida, United States. This was mainly due to the oriented trajectory of horizon, as the land’s geography envelops the Bay acting as an open invitation that stretches across the ocean and into the Caribbean. The topography of Coconut Grove was an intuitive feature for the earliest settlers, navigators and merchants traveling through the pre-settled area.
From a bird’s eye view of the city, Coconut Grove is bordered by US1 to the north, Biscayne Bay to the east, North Prospect Drive to the south, and LeJeune Rd. to the west. Prominent business-involved city centers include Coral Gables to the north (3mi) and Brickell to the northeast (4.5mi). The Coconut Grove community differentiates itself through it’s rooted historic upbringing and lush, native landscapes. What The Grove currently lacks is an accommodating business sector to match it’s energetic and progressive ideals. The design of 27@Lincoln reflects this initiative by upholding the integrity of identity and promoting a node for innovation and engagement in a growing community.
PLACE-MAKING VS. PEACE-MAKING IN COCONUT GROVE
Once taken from the two-dimensional map view and put to experience the community on the ground, subtle idiosyncrasies can be revealed about place that relate the design to the immediate and future needs of the city. In architecture, a space can be understood through minimal and instinctual design. A space of shade – beneath the tree. A space of view – the edge of the bay. A space of solitude – within the expanse of the landscape. These are all natural environments where we tend to find ourselves in different forms of peace. These lessons are borrowed from nature and embedded in the design to take life from the ground and up into the peripheries of the office.
29 Tahiti Beach Island Rd, Coral Gables.
DESIGNED BY LEAH ZALDUMBIDE, ADRIANA CONTARINO, WM. H ARTHUR IV, AIA, NCARB. COPYRIGHT © 2018, WHAA, INC.
The partial demolition, renovation and addition to an original home designed by the great Coral Gables Architect Ramon Pacheco in 1994. The Coral Gables home is strongly themed in the Mediterranean style, typical of Ramon’s work of the period, however presents a more “classic” aesthetic. Ramon described the original owner as an antique collector and this might have contributed to the addition of heavy, decorative pre-cast elements on the exterior. This cladding was in poor condition. There were multiple massings extending around a central courtyard unilaterally. The Coral Gables home is 2-levels with a crawlspace. The existing hip roof is in good condition, however is constructed of S-tiles, not in conformance to Coral Gables’ Mediterranean design standards. Each hip is irregular, and built in an unsymmetrical cascading fashion. The home is located in a Flood Zone. The home occupies a 41,320 square foot lot with an existing pool and English-themed garden.
After the retirement of Polevitzky and at the height of an economic slow-down in 1962, William’s grandfather Wm. H. Arthur III, ended his 12-year apprenticeship and took-on the bulk of the Polevitzky firm’s continuing work.
Among the first commissions for William’s grandfather (WHAIII) included Phase I of Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton and Nuclear Fallout research for the Kennedy Administration. Arthur, who’s formal education came from the University of Illinois, held a adjunct professor position at the University of Miami School of Architecture while simultaneously
producing designs for restaurants, offices, retail buildings & even U.S. power plant sites– Adding an important, yet unpublicized component to his firm’s workload in the 1960s & 70s.
As Miami’s built environment expanded throughout the 1980s & 90s, WHAIII diversified his firm’s commissions, designing and constructing more than 2,500 public, private, commercial and industrial projects worldwide for his Miami clients including Eastern Airlines, Turnberry-Schiff Properties, Courtelis Company, Publix, Saglo, Equity One, Allstate and Merrill Lynch. WHAIII served as consultant Architect to some of Miami’s most significant projects;
In Miami-Dade, the Falls Shopping Center, In Orlando, the former Naval Training Center McCoy Annex (Orlando International Airport), Coconut Grove Bank, and many other major sites that remain important to this day. WHAIII also served two terms on the Coral Gables Board of Architects.
Certainly one of the most prolific firms in Miami, WHAIII forged a strong foundation with his small and powerful firm; a concept continued by wha design, Inc., a firm held by his son, and William Hamilton Arthur Architect, Inc. (WHAA) the firm held by his grandson.