In the late 1990’s, when world renowned architect and designer Michael Graves set out to design the luxury condominium building in South Beach that would become one of the crowning achievements of his extensive career, he was hopeful that it would turn out exactly as he had envisaged it: a postmodernist icon that stood at the border between land and sea, with elements that anchored it to South Beach, and others that called it to the ocean. A design that resembled a ship; threatening, at any moment, to break free of its 15th Street mooring, and set out to sea.
By and large, he got what he wished for, a South Beach landmark that is the backdrop for countless photo shoots, and one of the buildings that is most admired by the Miami Beach residents and visitors who walk, drive, and take bus tours on Ocean Drive.
He did, however, have one regret. One of his most cherished ideas, never made the final cut: a visually stunning, fourth floor swimming pool, shaped like a wave, and adorned in mother-of-pearl tile; the final flourish of his land-sea thematic vision. Instead, the pool received a pretty standard concrete treatment and remained, for the last 20 years, a utilitarian, but less than overwhelming feature of the building.
Although Michael Graves has since passed away, this year, his long-standing dream finally came true. In February, Ron Maheu, the President of the 1500 Ocean Drive Condominium Association, and Harold Rosenbaum, its Treasurer and Building Committee Chair, jointly announced that the long awaited pool renovation project had been successfully completed.