Arte greets the South Florida shore with cantilevered balconies and operable walls

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The building’s beachfront facade mixes gridded and single-pane windows to balance privacy and views. (Kris Tamburello)

Arte, a 12-story, ziggurat-shaped luxury condo building, stands on the beach of Surfside, Florida, like some kind of glossy totem. Slabs of travertine seem to float above one another with only large glass windows between them. The effect is both effortless and luxe, appropriate for this affluent stretch of the Atlantic coast between Bal Harbour and Miami Beach.

The building’s designers—Milan, Italy– based firm Antonio Citterio Patricia Viel (ACPV) and Miami-based architect of record Kobi Karp Architecture & Interior Design (KKAID)— drew on their respective backgrounds “to create an architecture able to perfectly adapt to the location, while preserving an Italian soul,” said Antonio Citterio. For Citterio, a cofounder of ACPV, the sea-forward lifestyle of the Mediterranean was a constant reference, while Kobi Karp, founder of KKAID, drew inspiration from beach morphologies. “Specifically, sand dunes. That’s reflected in the stone colors and the pyramid shape,” Karp noted.

A typical detail of the curtainwall system. (Courtesy ACPV)

Within each of Arte’s 16 units, living spaces spill out onto spacious, ipe-decked balconies, thanks to operable walls from Schüco. These are supplemented by a gridded window system that runs down the middle of the facade to create a bit more privacy for residents.

Karp said that after studying three or four window systems, the designers chose the Schüco system because of its thin profile and operable and fixed options. The Tecnoglass windowpanes were impact-tested to ensure they could withstand hurricanes and tropical storms.

The distinctive, knife-edged balconies of the Arte were shaped by structural engineering and local zoning requirements. Pretensioned slabs help them cantilever from the facade without any vertical supports that might block the view, and setback regulations meant that every second floor needed to retreat further from the shore, creating a terracelike feel with plenty of shade.

The building features many bells and whistles that cater to a rarefied market (a 75-foot indoor swimming pool, a rooftop tennis court, climate-controlled parking, lobby art by Olafur Eliasson, etc.), but it’s the giant sliding doors that really turn these condos into the stuff of fantasy as they open onto ocean, sand, and sky.