2005 – MATCH MAGAZINE
Vitri, a spectacular new building under construction at Alton Road and West Avenue at Fifth street, is set to become the new gateway to Miami Beach. Vitri will be the landmark building as you approach South Beach on the MacArthur Causeway when it occupies its one-and-a-half-acre site where the highway from the mainland joins the barrier island.
Carlos Prio-Touzet and Jacqueline Gonzales-Touzet, husband and wife principals of Miami based Touzet Studio Design and Architecture, are Vitri’s designers. The Touzets are both former vice presidents of prestigious design firm Architectonica, and are well known for their award-winning designs.
Their innovative, fluid designs combine technological ingenuity with respect for the local environment, to produce unique and spectacular residential and commercial building for their global clientele. As Prio-Touzet explains, Vitri presented a unique and challenging opportunity: “You approach Vitri in motion, so we designed it to be experienced in the round like sculpture. Its articulated glass surfaces change with the light. In fact, the projects name, Vitri, is a riff on the Latin root for glass.”
Indeed, the Touzets use an irregular grip pattern on Virti’s façade, combined with a gradual shift in the tint of its glass walls, does emphasize a sense of organic movement.
The Touzets split Vitri’s 60 residential units between two distinct buildings.
- The West Avenue structure is a rounded five-story volume. Its unique curving concrete frame encloses glass-frosted facets, that afford residents both Biscayne Bay and Downtown Miami views. As Jackie Touzet explains, that was part of the Touzet’s design concept for integrating the buildings unique location into its form “The West Avenue portion was inspired by the natural environment of the sea, sky, and sand. The glass walls of Vitri’s double height units slip outward to capture views; the concept itself relates to water and to forms shaped by wind and waves.”
- The Alton Road structure is a more urban minded rectangular volume that relates intentionally to the scale of traditional Miami Beach neighborhoods. It respects the existing city environment using steel, glass, and concrete for a man-made modern aesthetic, which Prio-Touzet describes as “a home for people who enjoy walking to Starbucks or to the movies, who understand that urban living means being a part of a neighborhood.
- The Touzets use dense, quartz-hued limestone and light-colored marble with sky blue striations to balance the clean lines and smooth surfaces of Vitri’s aesthetic.
Master bedrooms are set on mezzanines that overlook the 19-feet high glass-walled living areas below. Kitchens are custom designed with optional sliding glass partitions to hide the west areas. The cabinets are by Boffi, makers of super luxurious Italian kitchens.
Master bedrooms open onto a balcony designed to serve as a meditation or lounging space. They also feature Boffi fine wood storage cabinets, glass sliding doors, marble slab vanities, Dernbracht fixtures, and Duravit toilets and bidets.
However, the most unusual and striking feature of Vitri’s penthouses is the enclosed “sky garden”. A
perfect combination of form and function, the 28-foot high glass walls extend high above the roofline affording shelter for summer kitchens and wet bars.
Residents will also have the option of adding private rooftop spas, which will enjoy unrivalled views of downtown Miami and all of South Beach.
With their use of bamboo, hardwoods, limestone, and river rock, the Touzets-in-conjunction with landscaper Raymond Jungles- have created an almost tropical resort feeling for Vitri’s central garden with an emphasis on calm and relocation.
Paths will lead residents through stands of tall bamboo to quiet retreats with hammocks. A meditation and stretching deck of Brazilian hardwood extends out, into the tranquility of the garden. Bamboo enclosures will ensure privacy for the outdoor showers. Even the swimming pool hides a grotto behind its waterfall.
Vitri’s ground level retail has been specifically designed to hold a “signature” restaurant and a number of service oriented boutiques, while the Touzet’s extensive use of organic materials softens the approach to a hidden four-level parking garage.
Mindful of its role within the urban fabric, the Touzet’s have designed Vitri to enrich a vibrant South Beach neighborhood without overwhelming it.
We think you’ll agree that they have achieved their goal and that Vitri is another stunning example of the Touzet’s work.
Majestic properties is the exclusive sale agent for Vitri. The sales office at 541 West Ave will open this spring with samples of the interior finishes and a model kitchen and bath. Prices for the two-story lofts will start in the $600,000s.