Aston Martin designer Marek Reichman responds to hurricane Miami winds with car-inspired aerodynamics

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Aston Martin is one of the world’s most iconic luxury car brands – this is what James Bond drove in the 1964 movie “Goldfinger” – and has become a cultural icon.

Now the brand is taking on the luxury condo brand. Its first project is the Aston Martin Residences Miami, located on the shore of Biscayne Bay, where the building is now Miami’s tallest residential building. It is also the automaker’s first residential real estate project in its century-old history.

Marek Reichman is Executive Vice President and Creative Director of Aston Martin. He designs the building and its interiors alongside Luis O. Revuelta, director of Revuelta Architecture, since 2013, as well as Rodolfo Miani of the Argentinian firm BMA Architects. With marble interiors, an art gallery and towering ceilings overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, the project brings an elegant tower to the city center Miami horizon, where its shape stands out.

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The building is round, curvaceous, and has a 52nd-floor slice for an outdoor pool on a spectacular plateau, which looks over its top-floor penthouses, one that costs $ 50 million (and comes complete with an Aston Martin racing car ). The building, which houses 391 luxury condos, also has museum-style parking spaces for cars and yachts.

Mr Reichman, who usually designs cars, spoke to Mansion Global about the design drama of this luxury tower, drawing inspiration from hurricane-proof car design and a personal project on the River Thames in London .

Mansion Global: What was it like to go from car design to luxury residence?

Marek Reichman: It’s the first time. A massive learning curve on a large scale. With cars, you start with the scale, learning about structure, internal space and volume. You can be relatively subtle in scale but dramatic in full size.

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MG: This new Aston Martin residence is Miami’s tallest residential tower, what were you looking for with the exterior of the building?

SIR: Real inspiration? Air flow and wind. Understanding Florida being sensitive to hurricanes. I worked closely with the architect Luis Revuelta. Eight years ago we started drawing together, and some of the inspiration shows what Aston Martin is, which is as much about aerodynamics and power as it is about beauty. We started talking about the wind and hurricanes and the shape because the building is close to the water. There’s this vast expanse of ocean and the wind goes through these corridors.

MG: How do you design a world class condo for Miami with so much competition nearby? What key elements did you want to bring?

SIR: It was a long journey that we have made. We didn’t just meet and decide ‘we’re going to do it’. I spent a lot of time understanding their passion and the need to do so. Then it was about making it different and having an impact on the Miami skyline, and therefore Florida. There have been a lot of reviews. It had to be a hard-hitting building, down to the millimeter – every dot on one of the door handles is the same number of dots we would apply to some of our car seats. There is an instantly recognized smell, feel, touch of an Aston Martin as soon as you approach the building.

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MG: The $ 50 million penthouse triplex at the top of this building is truly the next level of luxury – it even comes with a limited edition $ 3.2 million Aston Martin Vulcan race car. Where did you start with this dream house?

SIR: We really said that at this point that level of ultra-luxury, which is what it is, has to be exceptional. You are looking for a limited number of clients who can afford this penthouse. When they do, it must be a moment of falling in love. You go up and fall in love with the view, the size, the drama, the materials. It was really about turning the dial from 10 to 12.

MG: Where is the magic in ultra-luxury living? Is it high gloss, extra space, proportions?

SIR: Its proportion, its sight and its glass. It is the three-level atrium. It’s about not limiting your views when you’re there. Have these 360-[degree] visions around the building, which concerns the glass, and how we cut the floor to create drama. It’s big enough, so why not go the extra mile and have someone say, “Wow, this is such a great place. And you will be proud and you will stand there and say, “This is my point of view. “


MG: Why did you want to include an art gallery on the 52nd floor?

SIR: Art is important to me and [developer] G&G [Business Developments], and the team. It is a building created from art, many people who have bought and will buy here will be art collectors. This is the opportunity for them to come and see the art. For a building like this, it was so essential that we have a floor dedicated to the art world.

MG: In an interview, you said that you would like to be a director, because you like to create plots. What is the story or the plot of this building, if it was a movie?

SIR: Oh my God. The plot here is that someone has imagined some form of escape and can make and live their dream. This may be my story. Because from sketch to reality you can push the boundaries to create something that inspires people, gives them a sense of admiration. Or, having been up there yesterday, I think it’s like James Bond’s retirement apartment. All his life he’s wanted to, and hung up his gloves, he walks into the infinity pool, and that’s where he retires.

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MG: What is your personal definition of luxury?

SIR: Luxury is something you desire, it is not a necessity. Water is a necessity. The best cappuccino on the planet is a little cafe in Rome, I’ve been there. It is luxury. I can make a cappuccino, but it’s not by this barista. It is about scarcity, it is about satisfying and fulfilling your individual desires. It is something that excites you.

MG: Who was your design mentor who helped shape your vision?

SIR: From my early years as a car designer, the ex-boss of Porsche conception, there was a gentleman called Harm Lagaay. He understood the form. When I was a year or two after studying at the Royal College of Art, I met him, and he always asked me, ‘Why did you do that? No one else has ever asked why, he has always asked for an explanation. When someone questions you and makes you search for your answer, you will find more in yourself to answer your own questions. For every creative designer, the person you’re trying to beat is yourself. You know you have to do better next time.

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MG: What is the most luxurious object in your home?

SIR: I am building my own house on the Thames in the UK. I demolished an old house and am six months away from completion. The most indulgent room will be the living room, where I will have a small Steinway grand piano. I love it when there is someone playing the piano and I am sitting there listening with my eyes closed, it will be the most forgiving place in my house.

MG: Do you believe in design trends or are you a classic and timeless person?

SIR: I am a classic and timeless person, even though design trends exist. Sometimes you have to look at them, learn them and honor them. But true beauty through design will transcend any existing trend. There are still beautiful things today, regardless of the current trend. Like an Achille Castiglioni lamp is a piece of marble with an arch and a stainless steel head with a cheap bulb inside, but it is one of the most beautiful lamps on the planet.

Click to learn more Luxury real estate professionals share their points of view


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