CORAL GABLES CHARRETTE: DOWNTOWN
Mediterranean Ordinance A much discussed topic during the charrette was the way buildings look. The overarching public concern is that Downtown does not have the strength of visual character that some of the City’s residential neighborhoods have. While a number of urban design adjustments to the zoning code have been suggested to address this, including that building heights should be set without bonuses and that building lengths along the streets should be restricted, the archi- tectural issues of height, massing, and imagery are important to address as well.
With the understanding that a committee was recently formed to review the current Mediterranean code, the charrette produced a schematic proposal for revising that code to control better the height and massing in the picturesque manner that is an integral part of Mediterranean style buildings. These two drawings show that such a code could be written with specific instructions for three building layers in two directions. Vertically: three layers in height provide, with specific proportions, a base, a main mass and a tower of limited floor plate. Horizontally: three layers in depth include embellishment at the pedestrian level, the main mass maintaining the street wall and a tower. The charrette’s recommendations elabo- rate on this.