Spring 2015’s edition of ONE Life magazine shines a light on world trends, culture and design as the award-winning, proprietary lifestyle publication of ONE Sotheby’s International Realty. We’re blogging the unique content available in this exclusive publication. The first installation will be a look at developer Eduardo Constantini who knows that its not money but art that makes the world go round. This spirit is guiding his newest luxury residence in Miami.
For Eduardo Constantini, the 68-year-old founder of Consultatio Real Estate and MALBA contemporary art museum in Argentina, everything in life and business begins with art. For a start, the luxurious sales gallery of his new project— Miami’s Oceana Bal Harbour—is adorned with art pieces personally selected by Costantini, including works by Lucio Fontana, Wifredo Lam and Pablo Fonseca.
On a busy afternoon, sales associates work amid the balm of some very accomplished art, as Costantini takes the long view. “To me, art is a constant, in my blood,” says Constantini. “I’ve been collecting for 40 years. Art energizes our buildings. It’s not just a marketing tool, and we’re not in this for the short run. We have a curatorial team, like a museum, and art is integrated into the design of our projects.”
When the famed Argentine developer got involved with his first U.S. effort—the 142-unit Oceana Key Biscayne—he was quick to infuse the building with art. “We included two specially commissioned murals by the Brazilian artist Beatriz Milhazes,” says Costantini, who also lent one of his pieces to Milhazes’ exhibition at the Perez Art Museum Miami, her first solo museum show in the United States. “To me, the real enjoyment is the conception of the project, considering the interaction of the art and the design. Good architecture and art changes people, lifts them up, and that’s an effect you want to create as a developer.”
The larger, 240-unit Oceana Bal Harbour has an even more ambitious art program. “Oceana Bal Harbour will have more than 10 pieces of museum-quality work in the public areas, along with two Jeff Koons sculptures,” Costantini says, pointing out that all of the art will be “owned by the residents of Oceana Bal Harbour.”
“Koons is a truly international artist and ap- peals to Oceana residence owners, who are often art collectors in their own right,” he says.
Costantini himself is a lifelong collector. In 2001, he took his love of art to a new level by donating his entire collection— some 200 pieces—and founding MALBA, a contemporary art museum in Argentina that now houses more than 500 works.
Costantini—who presides over a $3 billion real estate portfolio—comes from humble beginnings. He grew up with 13 brothers and sisters in a town outside Buenos Aires. By 28, he managed to save enough money to pursue a master’s degree in quantitative economics at the University of East Anglia, England, which he received in 1975.
After returning to Argentina, he went into banking for a while before entering the real estate business. Since then, he has spearheaded some of his country’s largest projects— including the development of the Nordelta “city within a city” in Buenos Aires, a planned community with some 30,000 residents and various neighborhoods, schools, a medical center, shopping malls, cinemas, banks, restaurants, sports clubs and five-star hotels— as well as multiple projects in Uruguay. At the moment, he’s developing another planned community in Argentina, Puertos del Lago.
For Oceana Bal Harbour, Costantini worked with some of the world’s top designers. “Our residence owners are citizens of the world, and we’ve assembled an international team for Oceana Bal Harbour,” he says. “Piero Lissoni is our interior designer, and Enzo Enea is creating the landscape design. Bernardo Fort-Brescia of Arquitectonica has done the building itself. Miami has become a global city, and the Oceana team is perfect for a project with global ambitions.”
Aside from serving as an ideal showcase for contemporary art, Oceana Bal Harbour, which is set back from Collins Avenue, is a thoughtful structure in all respects: The garage is underground, which beautifies and cools the property, and the entire project is LEED certified. The 28-story building is parallel to the ocean and Biscayne Bay, situated on a 5.5-acre site with 400 feet of beachfront. The central breezeway of the building, which connects the ocean and the bay, is 50 feet wide and 60 feet tall. Apart from opening up the property and creating a sustainable out- door meeting space, the breezeway serves as a choice setting for a Koons sculpture, which will be visible from Collins Avenue.
Pluto and Proserpina—one of two Koons pieces for which Costantini put up $14 million—will be displayed in the breezeway’s reflecting pool. Before it lands in its permanent home, the larger-than-life sculpture is traveling the globe as part of “Jeff Koons: A Retrospective.” A centerpiece of the retrospective, Pluto and Proserpina began its journey at the Whitney in New York. The sculpture is on view at Paris’ Centre Pompidou through April 27 before moving on to the Guggenheim in Bilbao in June.
In 2016, coinciding with the opening of Oceana Bal Harbour, Pluto and Proserpina will be unveiled at the condominium, along with another Koons sculpture, Ballerina. (Ballerina will be on display at Costantini’s MALBA in May.)
For Costantini, giving residents joint ownership of the art collection at Oceana Bal Harbour is a continuation of his belief in the unifying power of contemporary art. “Within Miami, a city that is becoming an art center, we are located within a neighborhood, Bal Harbour, where art is especially important,” he says. “The art collection at Oceana will also establish a sense of community, which is an important aspect of all my projects.”
When architect Bernardo Fort-Brescia became involved with the project, he knew art would be a primary element from the get- go. “Eduardo was looking to create a sister project to Oceana Key Biscayne with major exterior art pieces,” Fort-Brescia says. So Fort-Brescia carefully designed a space that would let the work shine. “From the beginning, we were keen to create a minimalist design solution, going back to the principles of ‘less is more,’” he says. “There’s a conceptual clarity in the creation of simple volumes, and this creates an ideal setting for the exterior artwork.
“The two gently curving towers are connected by a glass bridge,” he continues, “creating a breezeway of monumental proportions. This grand-scale gateway dramatizes the connection between the land and the ocean. The tall and broad arch sits in perfect alignment with an inland linear park, connecting the entrance of Oceana with the Bal Harbour yacht basin. The combined elements of the arch and the park result in an urban design statement of seldom-seen dimensions. And, of course, the gateway is a perfect setting for Jeff Koons.”
To showcase the art and architecture, Costantini and Fort-Brescia relied on Enea Landscape Architecture. The Switzerland- based firm—who is also working on Miami buildings designed by OMA, Zaha Hadid and Enrique Norten—was the perfect choice for Oceana, says Fort-Brescia: “Enzo [Enea] understood the idea of geometric purity and translated it into the landscape. The minimalist approach appears in the pure stretch of lawns and the planning of green areas, spaces that welcome the art at Oceana.” Enea certainly understands Costantini’s vision. “Oceana was designed to celebrate art, and everything—all the colors and textures in the garden—must be curated, a kind of stage for the Koons sculptures,” says the designer.
Landscape Architecture. The Switzerland- based firm—who is also working on Miami buildings designed by OMA, Zaha Hadid and Enrique Norten—was the perfect choice for Oceana, says Fort-Brescia: “Enzo [Enea] understood the idea of geometric purity and translated it into the landscape. The minimalist approach appears in the pure stretch of lawns and the planning of green areas, spaces that welcome the art at Oceana.” Enea certainly understands Costantini’s vision. “Oceana was designed to celebrate art, and everything—all the colors and textures in the garden—must be curated, a kind of stage for the Koons sculptures,” says the designer.
To Costantini, the importance of art at Oceana is a reflection of Miami’s place in the world, both in the realm of contemporary art and in terms of international cachet.
“I read recently that by 2023, Miami will be the number three city in the western world in terms of having a concentrated population of individuals with high net worth,” he says. “We’ll be right behind New York and London.
“I’ve been coming to Miami for 25 years,” he adds, “and bought an apartment here in 2008. It was such a different city 25 years ago. I could not have imagined then what this city would become. But I always trusted Miami—the city of the future.”
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