Alan Faena´s country as an inspiration for his new development in Argentina and Miami

The restoration of Alan Faena’s country estate in the Argentine pampas, – is an inspiration for elements of his Faena District in Miami Beach, and specifically the Foster + Partners designed residential tower, Faena House.

When Faena bought this historic estancia, known as San Juan de Vasquez, in 2005, along with its 2,500 acres of fertile farmland, the place had fallen into disrepair.
Faena insisted that its 200-year-old paintings and other family heirlooms be kept intact and then spent two years carefully restoring it to its former grandeur.

Faena saw in this impoverished landscape the potential for “a building where music, art, culture, service, flavor, knowledge, love and freedom can all come together.” Aiming to create something that would “expand people’s lives,” he coaxed architect Philippe Starck into designing his first South American project—transforming a 100-year-old grain depository into a hotel. A local group of architects converted an abandoned mill into an arts center. He also invited Lord Norman Foster’s firm, Foster & Partners, to design a residential condominium—also his first in South America. The $200 million project resulted in some of the most expensive real estate in Buenos Aires, and copycat developers quickly followed suit. Today the neighborhood resembles a South American version of Tribeca. “We created a place out of nothing,” says Faena.

Faena is fiercely proud of the Foster condominium’s balconies, which rival the interior living spaces, which range from 1,307 to 4,730 square feet.
“It’s not about a building, it’s not about making a hotel. The most interesting thing is curating a neighborhood.”

So in addition to the simplicity of generous balconies and a wider-than-usual stretch of gardens (designed by Miami landscape architect Raymond Jungles), Faena would like the new hotel to evoke the resorts of the French Riviera’s golden era.

Now he hopes to repeat this success in Miami. With his partner, Russian billionaire Leonard Blavatnik, he has bought up four city blocks along South Beach’s Collins Avenue, including the ’40s-era Saxony Hotel, and enlisted a roster of A-list talent to construct another Faena district. Foster is again designing residential condominiums, while Rem Koolhaas’s firm, OMA, will create an arts center, retail spaces and a high-tech parking garage. The renamed Faena Hotel will be refurbished by designers Roman and Williams, whose resumé includes New York City hot spots The Standard and the Ace Hotel.

Source: http://online.wsj.com

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