Unique, Sustainable Performance Space Comes to Wynwood
Wanting to impact the Wynwood neighborhood twofold, the Wynwood Greenhouse space being developed by Metro 1 Community CEO Tony Cho and his team, brings a new definition to the word performance space.
Incorporating the word “greenhouse” into the name was completely intentional and a major factor in how the space will operate. “Hopefully this will inspire other property owners, developers and municipalities to follow suit and create more meaningful open/green space,” says Cho.
Spearheading the project for Cho is the company’s Executive Director Stacey Glassman Mizener, a veteran of Miami’s arts community and co-visionary with Cho in creating a space for more than just cultural performances.
Their goal is to have the grand opening on April 22, 2016 in honor of Earth Day to reflect their sustainability efforts, an important element of the Greenhouse’s focus. “It would be poetic and fitting to have it on this day,” says Glassman Mizener.
At more than 14,000 square feet, the space will be located 169 N.W. 28th St., one block East of Second Avenue and one block south of 29th Street, in the vacant plot of land behind Ducati motorcycles which is a prime gateway to Wynwood.
The idea for Wynwood Greenhouse originated in September 2014 when Cho, who owns the plot of land, decided he wanted to give back to the community by offering a public space for the Wynwood and South Florida community to enjoy. The question then became exactly how the space would be used and how it would impact the community so Cho and Glassman Mizener spearheaded the Imagine, Design, Build competition to attract artists, architects, and landscape architects worldwide. The result was 238 applicants from 20 countries.
They then assembled an all-star jury to curate the process of choosing a winner. The eight jurors included: Enrique Norte, principal/founder Norten TEN Architects; Terence Riley, principal Keenan/Riley; Raymond Jungles, principal/founder Raymond Jungles Inc.; James Russel architecture critic and author; Andrew Frey, development manager DwnTwn; Allan Shulman, principal, Shulman + Associates, associate professor University of Miami School of Architecture; Joachim Perez, jury chair and executive director of DwnTwn; and Cho.
The group approached their task with a very professional perspective of evaluating the ideas. They narrowed the field down to eight finalists from various countries. The design team chosen — Nick Gelpi, Roberto Rovira and Jim Drain — presented the winning design. “They were an integral part of the design and the use and knew how we would want to engage the community,” says Glassman Mizener.
Using her background as a leader in the arts community for 15 years, Glassman Mizener took their vision and maximized the opportunity and idea of having nature tours for kids, yoga/meditation, ballet in the park, storytelling for kids, farmer’s markets and architecture exhibitions. “It was a collaboration between the winning team, myself and Tony,” she says.
Her current work involves reaching out to non-profits to forge partnership in what she believes will be the heart and soul of the project. The space is a butterfly and bird sanctuary, meaning all the plants planted and specified are designed intentionally to attract butterflies and hummingbirds. “Aside from being a beautiful feature, they attract sustainability and intentionally create an environment for pollination,” Glassman Mizener says.
Aside from being a space for quiet contemplation it will also be the outdoor residence for musical group Nu Deco Ensemble, who will give quarterly performances at the space. Nu Deco’s sound incorporates modern and contemporary influences.
“For the opening, I’d like their performance to be part of an inclusive event that incorporates the arts. I’m imagining music, connection to the earth, and bringing together all the people that have helped make Wynwood Greenhouse possible,” says Glassman Mizener.
They also want to promote reading, drum circles and lots of family participation events as well as art classes. Glassman Mizener has already spoken with teachers who are interested in the project. Their programming will be designed to attract families, individuals and kids.
“We’re even thinking gardening clubs and other organizations that want exposure to another area and want programming in nature. It’s truly a very inclusive project,” she says.
Visit their website at http://www.wynwoodgreenhouse.org/#home to see renderings and updates of the space.