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Overview of Architect Morris Lapidus

Morris Lapidus was one of the most important architects of the 20st century, not because of what he built but because of the way he thought and his willingness to break rules. His architecture manifested both popular culture and the collective unconscious. Through his designs- synaggogues and large-scale housing as well as the famous shops and glamorous hotels-he had a powerful way of enhancing an experience and lifting people’s spirits.

His introduction to the Miami hotel scene began when his friend the architect Charlie Spector brought him to a meeting with Ben Novak, partner of Harry Mufson, to edit plans for the Sans Souci hotel on Miami Beach. Morris was sketching various parts of the hotel that could be made more interesting. He indicated that the exterior should have imposing pylons and a circular drive to dramatize the entrance. Several days later he got a phone call from Harry Mufson, asking when he could come to Miami Beach.

The two resort hotels , Fontainebleau and Eden Roc, makes us see architecture differently. We can describe the form, tectonics, content, and detail of the resort hotels different as a pedestrian or when we drive a car. Lapidus’ resort hotels, were stage sets for tpuristic spectacle and glamour more than built demonstrations of distinctly modernist theories and practices. Miami, was the farthest extension of North America into the Caribbean, far enough from the rest of the United States to nurture exotic tropical fantasies. There is a reason that makes both of these resort hotels more prestigious and more as an image of Miami then any other hotel.

In 1952, Morris Lapidus landed the job of the largest luxury hotels of Miami Beach, the Fontainebleau and Eden Roc perhaps the most famous hotels in the world. He designed the hotel in such an artistic and symbolic way that when you pass by the hotel by car or as a pedestrian, your brain captures its style and symbols so that you can separate it from other hotels.
Fontainebleau and Eden Roc are located in Miami beach, between the beach and Collins avenue, where the best oceanfront hotels are based. It is a perfect location to impress tourist who comes to the beach and sees all the luxury resorts facing the ocean.

The fronts of the Fontainebleau and Eden Roc look to the Collins avenue, the architectural structure and the decoration plays a big role in this part. The strategy here is to impress and make the building prestigious and interesting. If you are a tourist and driving a car in the Collins Avenue, you will see several Miami Beach hotels next to each other, almost all of them having the same color and design. Fontainebleau’s perception is different than what the other hotels have. You can enter to the hotel by taking the entrance road. You will see multiple tall palm trees aligned and white sculptures matching the color of the building that are located in front of the lobby and on the waterfall. Compared to other luxury resorts, Eden Roc can also be easily distinguished. When by pass as a pedestrian,by car or even by a plane you will be able to compare Eden Roc to other buildings. As a pedestrian you will see that right by the entrance road, there is a big text of Eden Roc with a special font that makes it more unique. As a flying passenger, if you are passing over Miami Beach, you will see that all the buildings are colored white and have almost the same structure. So if you can not distinguish the buildings by its shape which is the case for most people, Morris Lapidu put the text of Eden Roc with the same font as the one at the entrance. Fonts are really important for branding, it gives a perception depending on the type of the font and also makes people remember the brand.

These two luxury resorts’ inside are as prestigious as their exteriors. Morris Lapidus designed a modernism based on north?south connections. His hotel environments were containing Latin designs and tropical themes.  Lapidus’ interiors were juxtaposing his proven idea to commercial space with regional elements such as natural stone, singing birds and tropical foliage.

With the Fontainebleau and Eden Roc, he was called as the as hotel doctor and hotel designer. From the idiosyncratic pedestal base to the bold curves of the two hotels, Fontainebleau and Eden roc broke with orthodoxy and defined Lapidus signature hotel



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