Think about your favorite city, what image comes to mind? A city’s skyline is one of the most iconic aspects of its culture, personality, and people. Today, Miami’s skyline is growing faster than ever. Although we are not New York, the architecture that builds our city is one that makes us proud, like this concept design by Reinaldo Borges featuring local artist Abstrk. From the luminous buildings in Brickell to the American Airlines Arena in Downtown, Miami is creating an identity far different from every other city you’ve seen. But who is making these designs and are they planning for our city’s future?
Well yes, if you’re Reinaldo Borges of Borges + Associates Architects.
Miami is a young and learning City. Highly challenged and highly adaptive.”
Please, tell us about Borges + Associates Architects:
“Borges + Associates Architects is a design focused boutique firm with a focus on combining art and business in the practice of architecture. We work on small, medium and large scale projects with a very hands-on approach to bringing about an artful project that meets and exceeds our client’s expectations.” With projects ranging from hospitality to luxury residential to the city’s high rises, Borges also puts a strong effort in integrating his designs to better the urban Miami by developing transit-oriented strategies and walkable communities.
The only way he can make this change is by being an active member of his community and taking leadership in South Florida. His designs include concerns of sustainability and resiliency towards the current Sea Level Rise and Climate Change issues we are facing today in areas like Miami Beach, Biscayne Bay and other neighborhoods in South Florida. By giving back about 10% of his team’s creative time to the community through leadership and activism, they are solution-oriented and highly engaged on the topic of resiliency as it affects the built environment.
Reinaldo’s passion for artistic architectural design and overcoming the challenges our home city faces drives his involvement throughout the local community and the state of Florida. During an interview, he looks out of his office window in Brickell at the surrounding buildings, noticing many are not built to adapt to Sea level rise. They are not resilient, over time they may have to be abandoned. This heart-breaking possibility is what led him to become a co-chair on the Sea Level Rise Task Force at the American Institute of Architects ( AIA Miami) and Chairman of the Miami Beach Chamber of Commerce‘s Real Estate Chapter.
What gave you the idea?
Reinaldo Borges and his partner, Alice Dahbura-Borges, have worked on global projects from Dubai to Downtown, Miami, learning from the global community of architects, planners, scientists and thinkers. Which is where their concern for the lasting building designs originated. Architects around the world have begun designing buildings to sustain climate change, and it should be a focus for architects in Florida, especially.
We love the idea of living, working, and playing in a dense urban environment.”
The Change Miami Needs
Borges + Associates Architects places a strong effort in integrating their design for the future of the Magic City. “Miami is a young and learning City. Highly challenged and highly adaptive.” Although, they have a passion for aesthetically pleasing buildings, innovative architectural and planning strategies are needed now more than ever. But how? The challenge for Borges is creating something tailored specifically to his client’s needs, while keeping in mind the geographic needs of the location to build a resilient structure. A piece of the city that can withstand challenges over time and represent the city in the future.
“We have to rethink how we develop, it’s not radical but practical and based on the development dynamics of a coastal city that will be impacted by sea-level rise in a way we are still trying to understand and react to. A slowly developing catastrophe that we are having challenges visualizing and preparing to adapt to.”
How many cities are you currently in?
Borges is global, now focused on selected projects in Dubai, after being present in the Middle East for over 13 years, they are also working in Colombia and Mexico. “We are a Miami native firm with a global reach and are excited that we could bring our vision for Miami to foreign parts of our world while we adapt to local cultures and methods.”
With current projects all over South Florida, from Miami Beach homes and hotels to Coral Gables boutique developments, especially Coconut Grove, Fort Lauderdale and Brickell, they plan to build a city so magical, it’ll be here for centuries to come.
We are a Miami native firm with a global reach”
The Near Future of Borges + Associates Architects
This small boutique firm has big plans for our growing city. Taking on one project at a time, expanding their capability with technology and computer-based modeling. It’s all about the big picture, that can’t be completed without focusing on the small, often overlooked, details. That’s what makes the difference in how their work impacts us all. Today, hurricanes and tropical depressions aren’t the only threats to South Florida, we have to worry about the reality of climate change and rising sea-levels, and how that will affect us. More importantly, we need to be ready for it.
The Next Big Idea
Flexible adaptation through design and thinking towards the challenges of Sea Level Rise and Climate Change is a major challenge to the profession, overall, of which Borges + Associates Architects are at the forefront of innovation and conversation. Adaptable strategies in architecture and urbanism is their main focus. The importance of raising awareness today to update policies in Florida is important to ensure all architects and developers are building and designing with resiliency at the core.