Renowned Japanese architect Shohei Shigematsu of OMA has designed Miami Beach’s first underwater sculpture park called The ReefLine. First conceived by cultural placemaker Ximena Caminos, the large-scale environmental public art project will be situated just off Miami Beach’s shoreline and spans seven miles complete with snorkel trails and an artificial reef. Shigematsu and Caminos are collaborating with a team of expert marine biologists, researchers, architects and engineers to realize the groundbreaking project.
The ReefLine is intended to serve as a crucial habitat for endangered reef organisms, promote biodiversity and enhance coastal resilience. On the grand scale, OMA will install a geometric, concrete modular unit that can be deployed and stacked from South Beach to the north while following the topography of the sea bed. The project will be completed in several phases with the first mile slated to open on December 2021. The first phase will also feature permanent installations by Argentine conceptual artist Leandro Erlich made in collaboration with Shigematsu.
Erlich will build an underwater recreation of his famed sand-sculpted “traffic jam” which was commissioned by the City of Miami Beach during Art Week 2019. Titled Concrete Coral, the site-specific installation will consist of reframed cars and trucks to shed light on the emissions that endanger our planet.
“We are excited to collaborate again with Ximena on a project that brings together culture and community. The ReefLine is unique because it brings attention to and mitigates the dangers of climate change in Miami, while simultaneously enriching the city’s vivid art scene. We look forward to working with the diverse group of experts and professionals on our first underwater cultural masterplan and sculpture,” said Shigematsu in a statement.
Check out visualizations for the ReefLine in the slideshow above and then head to OMA’s website to learn more about the project.
In case you missed it, read our exclusive interview with Shohei Shigematsu here.