Miami has evolved into one of the most vibrant cities in the world for contemporary art; BCF Berkowitz Contemporary Foundation will be the newest addition to the city’s dynamic art scene with a building that allows broad public access to this institution’s extraordinary and evolving collection. Sited at the center of a new cultural corridor stretching along Biscayne Boulevard from downtown to midtown Miami, the new 45,000-square-foot building addresses its urban environment with a civic presence. A pedestrian-friendly, public plaza—which contrasts with the area’s primarily commercial developments—opens a heavily trafficked corner and compliments a welcoming entrance set beneath a cantilevered level of galleries that hovers dramatically over the ground.
Situated in the outdoor space flanked by the building and garden, Richard Serra’s 200-foot long, Cor-Ten steel sculpture, “Passage of Time,” will be both open to the sky and visible from the street, allowing the foundation’s visitors, passing pedestrians, and vehicular traffic to experience this artwork without entering the building. Additional vantage points within the building look back into this courtyard. In contrast, visitors will enter to see James Turrell’s 80-foot-tall light installation, “Aten Reign,” through a tunnel – a transitional space that creates a sense of separation between the monumental and material Serra, the busy lobby, and the perceptual, sublime work of Turrell.
Flexible galleries can be reconfigured to suit different, curated exhibitions as well as the Foundation’s permanent collection. The galleries are designed to be spatially fluid and to allow visitors to flow in a linear manner through variously sized galleries for a variety of experiences. The ceilings in the galleries range from fourteen to forty-eight feet high, allowing for curated installations of both intimate and monumental scale. In addition to its galleries, BCF will house a stepped theater space, offices, and a book store, as well as loading, receiving, and storage areas.