Converging on Miami during “Basel week,” the world’s top architects had lots to talk about—OMA’s convention center project, Herzog & de Meuron’s new museum, and Zaha Hadid’s trippy condo building expected to rise on a site that now houses a gas station and pawn shop. The sales office, in an existing tower by Miami architect Chad Oppenheim, features curves reminiscent of Hadid’s much-discussed stadium in Doha. But it’s hard to talk over loud music, which is why not all the architects who gathered for dinner at the Wolfsonian-FIU Museum—Richard Meier, Jean Nouvel, Norman Foster, OMA’s Shohei Shigematsu, Herzog & de Meuron partner Christine Binswanger, Bjarke Ingels, Enrique Norten, Jurgen Mayer H., Andres Duany, Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk, Laurinda Spear, Bernardo Fort-Brescia, Oppenheim, and half a dozen others—made it to dessert.
The soundtrack was provided by Leslie and the LYs, a “pop dance comedy trio” imported for the evening from Ames, Iowa. ("We did it on purpose," said Wolfsonian director Cathy Leff. "We wanted Modernists to have a non-Modernist experience.") The host was David Martin, a second-generation developer (his father, Pedro Martin, founded the Terra Group), who has said his goal is to “be the guy who gets the most amazing architects and introduces them to the psychographics” of Floridians. His coming out party, in the Wolfsonian’s lobby, was organized in part by Terry Riley, the former Museum of Modern Art curator, who recently helped Martin choose OMA to design a condo complex for a site Terra and the Related Group co-own in Coconut Grove. Nouvel, Christian de Portzamparc, and Diller Scofidio + Renfro were eliminated during the informal competition, but Nouvel gamely showed up for the dinner, spending most of the night chatting with lighting designer Herve Descottes in French. “I’m sure he’s thrilled to be here,” said Martin, who described the dinner as heralding an era of cooperation rather than competition among architects.