Last month, I attended NAHB’s midyear meeting in Miami and had the pleasure of sitting in on a presentation by Daniel Swift, president and CEO of Des Moines-based architecture group BSB Design.
Incorporate Another Brand
In a real coup, Jorge Perez, chairman of The Related Group of Florida, signed renowned designer Philippe Starck to conceptualize Icon, Starck's first residential project in the United States.
In a real coup, Jorge Perez, chairman of The Related Group of Florida, signed renowned designer Philippe Starck to conceptualize Icon, Starck's first residential project in the United States. Based on a model Starck first executed in London, the Icon concept gives home buyers a choice of having their condominium's interior completely created in one of four Starck-fashioned themes: classic, nature, culture or minimal.
"Everyone is different. Everyone has a fantasy about how they want to live," says Perez. "We offer people flexibility and simplicity in their residence with a concept that is unique in both the interior and the exterior. Every city has different needs and its own idiosyncrasies the materials, colors and light all need to be thought of in a completely individual way, and Philippe did that when he designed the different environments. This product is unique to South Florida, but the idea is very exportable to the rest of the country."
On the strength of this collaboration and the buzz it has created, Icon already has 60-70 reservations approximately 40% of the projected 189 units though the sales center for the South Beach community will not open until later this month.
"A great design name attached to a building carries great interest, like brand names in clothing," Perez says. "I see more serious design budgets in building as opposed to just hiring a decorator who sticks furniture in. In Icon, we've taken the designer concept to the nth degree. Philippe becomes a partner, and the success of the job relates to how well he does and how everything does. So there's a vested interest in the designer and the developer working together. The designer is an integral part of your development process."
Community: Icon, Miami
Developer: The Related Group of Florida
Branding Elements: Building exterior, common areas (pictured) and four plans of complete home decoration designed by Philippe Starck
Cost: Not disclosed
Formula: The Icon concept