Posts Tagged Architecture

History of Cocoa Beach ,on the brink!

People measure history of a place with the amount of artifacts it has. Recently I have been following the heart breaking news on the demolition of The Prentice in Chicago, and followed by the controversy of demolishing the folk museum in NYC I could not help but to reflect and think of similar examples in history and around the globe. I could not think of any project that I know that was a replacement to a landmark and was better than it’s previous.

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I am not talking here about little cookie cutter houses or strip malls around suburbs. (I would actually prefer if they rip them off out of the ground and through them to the dogs!) However, am talking about projects that enhance the public realm, and encourage you to talk about them and become an essential memoire of the city’s history.

Here in Central Florida, the glass bank building had been at the center of a big discussion between demolishing a building that historically hosted stars Like Frank Senatra and Bob Dylan in lavish parties celebrating each time a missile went up with the famous space coast astronauts. It was big part of people’s memories.  It had a restaurant on the rooftop of the building with view to the Banana River. Unfortunately, the building lacked maintenance and with years of continuous weathering and hurricanes demolishing became a reality the owners had to face. To add more darkness to that, sadly, its owner committed suicide, at his penthouse in the building itself, after continuous failure to change the decision. He called it home since the eighties of last century.


The current Situation of the Glass Bank

The current Situation of the Glass Bank

Demolishing has more disadvantages than benefits. First, it is a valuable piece of the history of Cocoa Beach city. A city that is relatively new and thrives because of tourism!

Second, the scale of the building and its architectural setting is very different to anything else around it. Drive around the beach towns in Central Florida and see for yourself, see how unique this building is.The architectural style belongs to the Brutalist Architecture movement that grew in between the 1950s-1970s. This building was built during the 1960s, which is a perfect witness for the change of times. Construction was with Cast in place concrete, which means the builders created specific molds just for that building to let those curves gracefully stretch upwards.

This building is one of few buildings in Cocoa Beach that is mixed use. This is a great potential for renovation and rehabilitation of the whole area around it.Brave developers and the people who care about Cocoa Beach history and economy should stand up together to bring this building back to its old glory.  Designers and Architects in Central Florida, our community should start a competition to gather best ideas to renovate the building. There is so much can be done to create a truly Sustainable and green architecture out of that big structure, besides it could be a facilitator to a bigger projects in Cocoa beach and Central Florida.

History is what fuels the future, how do we want the future to be?!


If you have a sketch, or drawing proposal that you would like to share on my blog please do so! Be in touch with me on my twitter @ WigdanGuneid or through the blog.Thanks!



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Atlantis Theme & Design…

What is that about hotels that we like so much?

Is it just the feeling that we are in a trip or that it is something about the design its self.

Hotels can be categorized into different types, some of them are geared more for business trips and conferences, some are for family entertainment and tourism, and some just simply to sleep-in for one night, and you notice that rooms are smaller and simpler.

However, some hotels are considered as destinations to go to, the Atlantis in the Caribbean is one of them.

This hotel, takes the essence of the Atlantis myth, the continent that sank thousands of Years ago, according to the old Greek methodology.

As you hop in the Atlantis, you sense the dramatic ambiance in the lobbies, entrances, and with the integration of landscape with the biggest aquarium in the world around the whole hotel.

This Themed architecture is blended very well with sophisticated materials, and elements of design, that brings richness to the overall environment and truly makes people’s experience enjoyable.

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Fast pass to Miami Architecture


There is no question that Miami is the art-deco capital of the world.

You like this style of architecture or you hate it, this style is part of the architectural identity of city of Miami, and so, many new buildings are adapting to that style too.

Miami is a relatively new city. It flourished back in the early 20th century when  rich business men from up-north started to visit to escape the long dull winter season, those , including Al Capone, the famous Chicagoan mafia leader, bought properties and encouraged businesses to come to Miami.

The architectural style in Miami is more adventurous let’s say , you will find the art-deco dominating in the city center, and the more further you go out, it starts to be more modern , and of course some buildings have an old Spanish feel to them too due to the presence of a big latin american community out there.





Walking around in town at night is a wonderful experience,   the buildings are all dressed with colorful lights, and what looks cheesy and ordinary in the morning looks glamorous and fancy at night.



The city looks very different at night!

The city looks very different at night!


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Highline photographic details-NYC

Something about cities likeNYC makes you in touch with the energetic part of yourself, it feels like you are on a constant thirst for more things to see, do, and eat!

Once I stepped into the city that doesn’t sleep, there absolutely no time to get tired. My trip was architecturally intense. Although the weather was very cold, I still enjoyed every single bit of it. Thanks to Virginia Duran’s NYC’s architectural map that I uploaded from her blog. It really helped to make the best of my short visit as it was easy to upload it into my phone through Google map, and find out the distances between the must see buildings in most of the neighborhoods.

There is so much to see in NY; however, being an IIT graduate, a school famous for Mies’s’s architecture’s college; architectural details are a big deal of the work/learn process; I think I became a detail obsessed!

With that being said, my trip to the Highline Project, done by James Corner Field Operations was mostly documenting all of that gorgeous wood furniture, landscape integration with flooring. The project was originally an old train rail that was re-designed to become a park. Many parts of the older rails still appear in the garden to remind us of its history, and was integrated with the furniture and flooring. It’s truly an Industrial garden.

The Highline project is one of my favorite urban design and landscape projects. It is a popular example of the urban landscape movement(New Urbanism), where landscape becomes an integral part of urban development, and not just “decoration”. The rehabilitation of the train rail running in Chelsea neighborhood had immensely improved the area. Many real estate/commercial development were encouraged to move there, including the pretty Jean Nouvel building, and Frank Gehry Office building, right across of this elevated garden.

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Urban furniture in its best! the combination of steel and wood and its integration with the garden is beautiful
Urban furniture in its best! the combination of steel and wood and its integration with the garden is beautiful
Old train's rail was re-used and integrated with its surrounding, creating sort of an "Industrial garden"

Old train’s rail was re-used and integrated with its surrounding, creating sort of an “Industrial garden”



What I love about this are the sliding wheels that enables the chairs to move.This is a smart use of the older train rails

What I love about this are the sliding wheels that enables the chairs to move.This is a smart use of the older train rails

Engraved rustic copper tiles

Engraved rustic copper tiles

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Animation for Yoga Center in Florida-My design

This project was part of my studio work while a student at IIT. The project is for a Yoga Center with Hotel Facilities , Meditation rooms, Restaurant,and an administration. In my design I was trying to make the maximum use of site location to make it more sustainable .

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