In the last decade or so, Miami has started to steal Dubai’s status as a global showcase of architectural excess, a place where the most outré new ideas take their first faltering steps before a curious and deep-pocketed public. If it’s sufficiently OTT, then the super-rich will snap it up almost without question. Throw in an alliance with an established luxury brand, and no amount of doom-mongering about the dangers of low-lying cities in a fast-changing climate will deter eager buyers.
The Aston Martin Residences at 300 Biscayne Boulevard Way are due for completion at the end of the year (the 249m, 66-storey tower topped out late last year), and the 195m, 60-storey Porsche Design Tower have overlooked Sunny Isles Beach since 2017, alongside the Residences by Armani Casa. It seems everyone is getting in on the act.
The latest proposal comes from British manufacturer Bentley Motors, who have announced the Bentley Residences as a new challenger on the skyline. No details on the height of the cylindrical tower have been released, save that it’ll be the 'tallest residential tower on the US coastline'. Located on Collins Avenue, close to North Miami, the tower will contain 216 units that follow the well-established pattern of getting bigger, bolder, and pricier as they ascend.
The building’s façade is of particular interest, with knurled, faceted glazing that apparently 'mimics the distinct diamond stitch pattern found in Bentley car interiors.' It’s also a little bit reminiscent of an extreme close-up of a Continental GT’s windscreen wiper stalk. Nevertheless, you can rest assured that fixtures and fittings will be of the highest quality and presumably include the option of expensive furniture from Bentley’s own Home Collection, with items like the swoopy Styal Desk and plump club-style armchairs.
Bentley is working with Dezer Development, a local family firm that proudly proclaims it was 'instrumental in changing the face and value of the South Florida real estate industry through the introduction of unique partnerships with marquee lifestyle brands.' The first of those marquee brands was a five-letter word beginning with ‘T’; as well as a scattering of Trump towers along the Miami beachfront, Dezer was also behind the Armani Casa building.
It’s likely that the Bentley company will follow Aston Martin’s modus operandi, offering up turnkey interior solutions for the keenest buyers and inviting them to collaborate with its in-house design team – Bentley’s Mulliner department – on a precise and personal specification. Facilities like an indoor-outdoor gym, cigar smoking rooms, cinema, and gaming space will all make the cut.
However, the jury is very much still out on the signature feature of The Bentley Residences, a party trick that it shares with its sibling, the Porsche Design Tower. According to the marketing materials, ‘each residence will include an in-unit multi-car garage and patented car Dezervator,’ a unique car lift that will allow owners to reach their apartment without even getting out of the driver’s seat. A clever system of rotating platforms – sadly not shown in these early renders – will deposit your Bentley outside your apartment, its presence automatically unlocking the door. Glass walls allow you to sit back and admire the vehicle from within.
It’s very… extra. Like almost all American cities, living in Miami means using a car, but the act of introducing an automobile into your living room is still a niche pursuit. There’ll doubtless be those who use the Dezervator to haul several million dollars-worth of collectable metal into their living rooms. This makes more sense, for living alongside a Bentley Blower Continuation Series, for example, is probably less stressful than driving it up and down Miami’s crowded boulevards. Conventional garages – and a car concierge service – will also be on hand if you don’t fancy living in close proximity to a 12-cylinder combustion engine.
Bentley and Porsche are part of the Volkswagen Group, and both companies have shared parts and technologies in recent years. Is this another example of cross-brand synergy? The Porsche Design Tower was always something of an outlier in the company’s extremely design-focused portfolio. Porsche’s separate design consultancy, Porsche Design, is currently celebrating its half century, during which time it’s produced numerous tasteful wristwatches, items of sober menswear, and the occasional muted gadget. A 195m tower complete with car lifts and private balcony swimming pools (a similar feature is offered at the Bentley Residences) seems to fly in the face of this refined good taste, not to mention the no-nonsense engineering approach the German company is famed for.
Bentley has a similarly refined image, albeit garnished with the trappings of luxury and the inevitable self-promotion that accompanies high net worth spending habits. By the time the Bentley Residences open in 2026, the company will be offering an all-electric model for the very first time. With the problematic issues of emissions removed, a Bentley EV opens up a world of possibilities for integration with domestic design. What seems like a flight of fancy might turn into a pioneering design.
This article is part of The T3 Edit (opens in new tab), a collaboration between T3 and Wallpaper* which explores the very best blends of design, craft, and technology. Wallpaper* magazine is the world’s leading authority on contemporary design and The T3 Edit is your essential guide to what’s new and what’s next.