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BUILDING BOOM

Italian architect Piero Lissoni’s first United States project will be The Ritz-Carlton Residences in Miami Beach. Lissoni, who combines simplicity with a modernist vision that distinguishes his work, is not only designing the exterior of the new 111 condominium residences and 15 single-family villas, but is also creating custom-designed interiors for the villas — two- to five-bedroom homes that range in size from 1,700 to over 10,000 square feet.

The Residences, located on the only lake in Miami Beach, at 4701 North Meridian Avenue — where lake, ocean, and waterway meet — are the last project of this magnitude that can be built in this part of the city. The Residences, which occupy the former home of the Miami Heart Institute, will be the Ritz-Carlton’s most groundbreaking contemporary design project.

“If you are a traveler and you land for the first time in Miami, the first feeling is the light — the light is absolutely special,” says Lissoni.

In line with the expectations of a Ritz-Carlton branded property will be a collection of premier, resort-style amenities, which include on-site private boat dockage and a captained VanDutch private day yacht for intracoastal and beach access, a spa treatment suite, steam room and sauna, plus outdoor yoga garden and fitness center. On-site, 24-hour, personalized concierge, valet, and pet salon suites are a few of the select services. When completed, it will be the only stand-alone Ritz-Carlton Residences in Miami Beach and one of a select few in the world.

The architect infused his design with the natural elements of Miami Beach. He describes the lobby: “When you move inside the lobby, the impression is the dimension of space. Then there is the connection of the space. And the third impression is the connection with gardens, water, the marina, and the outdoors. Everything is connected with a special poetic sense — the sense of space and the sense of light.”

Each home will be equipped with Piero Lissoni-designed Boffi kitchens, oversized stone countertops, Gaggenau appliances and built-in coffee systems, along with equally impressive Boffi master bathrooms, complete with Zucchetti fixtures.

“We designed the kitchens with a strong European feeling; we designed the bathrooms again with the same approach — light, colors, a quiet sophistication.”

While the overall design of The Residences is unique, its alignment with the Ritz-Carlton name creates yet another layer of excellence. Add to this the location of 126 exquisite properties surrounded by a neighborhood of upscale single-family homes on the shores of Surprise Lake, and the combination is beyond alluring.

Lissoni’s selection of Miami Beach for his first design project in the United States was entirely purposeful. “(Miami Beach) is exactly like a European or Italian town, but at the same time, it’s in a special cloud of tranquility, a cloud of security, a cloud of beauty,” he says. “But if you want to jump into the action, it’s nearby.”

The ultra-luxury residence development, which is being completed with award-winning Miami architecture firm ADD Inc. Every residence will be wired for smart-home technology, and many will include private elevator foyers, sprawling terraces, summer kitchens, and plunge pools.

“We combined together three different ingredients — Miami Beach, unique design, and incredible services. It’s simple, it’s elegant, it’s modern, and it’s designed for life,” says Lissoni.

Ophir Sternberg, CEO of Lionheart Capital, developers of the project, sums up the project in terms as succinct as Lissoni’s design: “Lissoni’s modern and artistic design will create a development that will change the Miami Beach skyline and how we look at luxury living.”