The Berkowitz Contemporary Foundation Announces New Home in Miami

By  | 

Rendering of the new Berkowitz Contemporary Foundation in Miami designed by Rene Gonzalez. All renderings by Azeez Bakare Studios/Courtesy of Rene Gonzalez Architects.

In Miami, the perfect time to unveil designs for a major new contemporary art institution in the city is the first week of December: Miami Art Week. It’s the week the annual international art fair, Art Basel Miami Beach, comes to town, and in previous years the unveilings of many of the city’s newer arts centers, including the Perez Art Museum Miami and Institute of Contemporary Art Miami, have been timed to match.

During this year’s Miami Art Week, which passed just a few weeks ago, Miami’s Berkowitz Contemporary Foundation unveiled the designs for its new building and collection space just north of Downtown Miami. It’s a museum-like building for museum-quality art designed by the prominent Miami architect Rene Gonzalez. Located on the city’s iconic Biscayne Boulevard, in eye-shot of Biscayne Bay, the 45,000-square-foot structure is designed around two monumental pieces of contemporary art, James Turrell’s light sculpture Aten Reign and Richard Serra’s Passage of Time.

Rendering of Foundation’s interior.

Gonzalez’s urban building is a dramatic modernist form that will wrap around a public plaza with the main mass of the building cantilevering out toward the street. The scale of the building will complement the urban corridor of Biscayne Boulevard, while contrasting with the taller buildings of the surrounding Edgewater neighborhood. Next to the plaza, a sheer glass wall will expose Passage of Time to the street.

Inside, Aten Reign will be approached through a long corridor through the belly of the building. The monumental light sculpture will sit underneath a high skylight and will be augmented by LED lights hidden under “surrounding tiers of ovular rings, slowly cycling through the color spectrum.” The building’s height was determined by the needs of the four-story-tall installation.

Pieces by artists Larry Bell, Fred Sandback, and Anish Kapoor are just a few of the many others that will fill the Berkowitz foundation’s galleries. Artists Philippe Parreno and Maurizio Cattelan will provide installations. On the second and third floors, flexible gallery space will allow for permanent and temporary exhibitions. The groundbreaking is planned for 2020, with the building’s completion slated for 2023.