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Miami: sleek and chic


No longer just a playground for the super-rich, Miami has finally grown into a mature city with first-class cultural credentials, says Holly Kirkwood Map by Juliet Percival


F


OR a city barely a century old, Miami pulls its weight on the world stage. Standing at the crossroads of North


and South America, Europe and the Caribbean, this colourful conurba- tion has a rich history fused from the varying cultures that have left their mark over the decades. But, today, it’s become the destination for those who want a sophisticated city with sunshine. Over the past 10 years, the city has firmly set itself the goal of becoming the winter honeypot for the world’s rich young things. World- class hotels, restaurants, and designer shops bring glamorous jetsetters


from all over the world, but it’s the culture the grown-ups stay for. The city peaked and troughed in


prominence throughout the past cen- tury: 1920s New Yorkers appreciated its liberal attitude to Prohibition, the Rat Pack passed through in the 1950s and it’s still the playground of choice for pop stars with more money than sense, but, recently, it has also established itself as a leading magnet for those interested in fine art. ‘Wealthy collectors may initially be drawn by Art Basel, but once they’re here, they tend to be imp- ressed by the quality of life,’ says Gabriella Navarro from Fort Capital


58 Country Life International, Spring 2014


Management (http://fortcapital.com). Art Basel, the contemporary art


show that launched in Miami Beach in 2002, has been such a success that a whole area of downtown is has been renamed the Design District. This in turn has created an art focus around nearby Wynwood, which has become gentrified, much like London’s Shoreditch. And the rest of the city continues to develop: the world-class Pérez Art Museum opened in Dec- ember and Miami World Center— a brand-new 30-acre shopping and cultural space—is under construction. Architects also love Miami: Zaha


Downtown Miami is now home to the Design District as wealthy collectors have flocked to the resurgent city


Hadid has designed her first resi- dential tower in the Western Hemi- sphere there and Richard Meier, Frank Gehry and Norman Foster have all put their names to buildings in recent years. Overseas investment is on the up:


more than $14 billion (£8.4 billion) deposited in south Florida banks in 2011 came from offshore sources, including Brazil and France, and the city continues to consolidate its rep- utation as an international banking hub.


www.countrylife.co.uk/international


Pietro Canali/SIME/4Corners


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