By: Hannah Martin
This is not your average showhouse.
It’s Tuesday afternoon, and Lucio Grimaldi is relieved. “There’s this gold-plated crocodile head coming from France that’s been stuck in customs,” he tells me. “I finally got an email today confirming that it shipped.” The imminently arriving reptile was the last big question mark on a lengthy checklist—one of the hundreds of furnishings, design objects, and artworks that have been flown in from across the globe, packed into skinny elevators, and delivered to a 20,000-square-foot space (that’s three penthouse condos, in case you were wondering) in RISE, a landmarked $1.05 billion residential tower in Miami’s rapidly developing Brickell City neighborhood. The occasion? The U.S. debut of Casacor, a series of design- and art-forward showhouses founded by Grupo Abril Brazil (Grimaldi is the CEO of Casacor Miami) and executed in cities across Latin America. Casacor Miami opens Friday, December 1.
“Miami has become the hot place in terms of interior design and real estate,” explains Grimaldi of Grupo Abril’s choice to bring the project Stateside. “It was the perfect timing to speak to that international consumer.” The croc belongs to Roque Saldias, a Peruvian designer crafting a jewel-box-like cabinet of curiosities in the living room. He is one of 20 international designers and artists—the list includes Paulo Alves to design superstar Suchi Reddy—who, with the help of curator Jessica Acosta-Rubio, has appointed a space in the Swire Properties–owned tower with their signature style.
Grimaldi—who speaks often of “disruption” (in the housing market; in the design world)—assures me: “This isn’t your average showhouse.”
Look no further than Reddy’s high-octane space for proof: An Oscar Niemeyer chaise and furry Campana Brothers sofa are star players in a lively living room that looks out over downtown Miami; in another room, a sculptural dining by Studio Nucleo stands agains an aura-inspired wallpaper by Calico. “It’s a conversation of contrasts,” she says. “One that engages classic pieces by design greats with cutting edge works from emerging designers, one that pits color against texture, one that gives the space presence against the commanding views.”
Meanwhile, in a bedroom conjured by Brazilian designer Leo Romano’s—where shelving, closets, and bed are all contained in one smart built in—or in Miami-based firm Roye’s cozy living room, such bold plays of color and contrast take a backseat to old fashioned comfort and function. “Miami is like a fruit salad,” Grimaldi explains. “It’s a melting pot of designers and ideas that come from different places. We wanted our project to represent that.” Open through December 18 at Rise at Brickell City Centre, 88 SW 7th St.