A 30 million dollar Miami Beach spec house reimagined as an Eleven Madison Park pop-up, on the street made infamous by a Justin Bieber drag race? That apotheosis of Miami Beach real estate was the choice of NY based, design glossy, Surface magazine, and cover subject Eleven Madison Park’s Chef Daniel Humm, during Art Basel. Nine thousand dollar teak chairs. Limestone flooring made to look like concrete. Concrete walls made to look like wood. Outdoor screens designed and flown in from Italy. This was high modern good taste.
As we looked across the water, to the Fountainbleau and Eden Rock, the Morris Lapidus Neo Baroque hotels that once epitomized Miami Modern, we wondered, has Miami Beach style become more…. shall we say, international?
Not necessarily, seemed to be the answer. Miami is still a sea of white leather, plate glass window, and chrome, according to Surface Chief Executive Office Marc Lotenberg.
He walked us through the 16,500 square foot house on Miami Beach’s Indian Creek with a representative from its builder Brodson Construction. It was the first day this vision of Brazilian architect Marcio Kogan and landscaper Raymond Jungles was open to selected guests. Stylists were still adding thousands of dollars of La Prairie product to guest bathroom vanities.
“We went through so many homes in Miami when we were looking for a place to do this event,” Lotenberg told us. “They all had that white, contemporary, borderline cheesy design or lack thereof. This home looks like it sprung from the pages of our magazine.”
White cheesy design? “It’s Miami, baby,” laughed Lotenberg. “It’s all white and all glass. It’s the guys with the low v-neck shirt and the gold chains that want to be seen.”
“But, this house has so much beautiful teak wood, concrete and different fixtures. And the landscape design is just as much of the space as the house is.” The long, narrow, rectangular house opens across its entire length onto outdoor spaces that frame water views. The aesthetic contrasts the development fever that turned beautiful Spanish homes with tropical yards into side by side mega mansions.
“A lot of these people take a footprint and just try to build as much house as they can,” said Lotenberg, who spent five years in Miami before moving to Tribeca. “They make it all white with sheetrock and stucco. They want the biggest house instead of the best house. They’ll build a behemoth and fill it with ,ade in China knockoffs instead of the real objects. We’d rather build a smaller home that respects artists and designers.”
“Sheet rock and stucco is Miami cheesy at its finest, part of the culture. I love Miami. It’s the only place in the United States that has this kind of vibe,” he added. “But, to do it right, you have to have a certain amount of taste.”
The daytime events, hosted by Sarah Arison, Zoe Buckman, and Sabrina Buell, offered dishes and cocktails from Eleven Madison Park including the Humm Dog, Dry-Aged Beef Burgers and Veggie Burgers. Drinks were provided to Whispering Angel, Prisoner Wines, and Blindfold Wines. Notable guests included: Laura Baldassari and Alberto Biagetti, Bec Brittain, Nick Brown, Simon Chaput, Alexandra Champalimaud, Rafael de Cárdenas, Casey Fremont, Alexandra Gorlin, Freja Harrell, Misha Kahn, Karen Kice, Antonio La Sirenuse, Chad Oppenheim, Eric Scheiner, Ophir Sternberg, and Hank Willis Thomas.
Each evening the home transformed into a private dining space for a 4-course dinner, hosted by the industry’s most prominent names in real estate, art, and design, including Barry Brodsky, Ximenia Caminos, Arlene and Wayne Chaplin, Stephanie Goto, Bettina Korek, Kristin and Matthew Whitman Lazenby, Barry Sternlicht, along with Surface magazine editor-in-chief Spencer Bailey and CEO Marc Lotenberg. Chef Humm talked the evolution of his career and his appearance on the cover of this year’s Art Issue. Notable guests included: Lindsay Adelman, Oren Alexander, Tal Alexander, Anda Andrei, Errol Antzis, Victor Bournaud, Kwame Brathwaite, Xin Cohen, Sara and Ugo Colombo, Sanjan Dhody, Jeff Dimodica, Robert Flaxman, Mary and Howard Frank, Marc Glimcher, Yoav Harlap, Thomas Jermoluk, Lio Malca, David Martin, Winy Masas, Mara McCarthy, Dora Nazarian, Jonathan Nesci, Michelle and Jason Rubell, Doug Rudolph, Stacey and Benny Shabtai, Robert Wennet, Gigi and Randy Whitman, Kulapat Yantrasast, and Bob Zangrillo
Porsche Cars North America was the official vehicle of the Surface x EMP Experience, with Porsche’s GT3 Cup Art Car, painted by Miami street artist Jona Cerwinske, and the all-new Panamera Sports Turismo on display. Chauffeured Porsches facilitated VIP arrivals and departures. Sonos partnered with Surface to create a playlist with Eleven Madison Park.
And in homage to Bieber, Pine Tree Drive now has speed bumps.