The existing pump station operated by Miami-Dade Water and Sewer Department currently resides on Biscayne Boulevard and the southwest corner of the future Museum Park (currently Bicentennial Park). The building, originally constructed in 1951, consists of a flat concrete windowless box -like design and is considered “currently unsightly.” The county requested the rethinking of a new envelope to in essence “wrap” the existing structure cosmetically, symbolically and functionally. In addition, the landscape around the station could be woven in and around the envelope.
Our approach was holistic whereas the notions of biomimicry were explored. Vernacular Floridian architecture has often embraced a narrative expressionism with thematic genres from Lapidus to Disney. Biomimicry as populist device continues this tradition. The pump station is an opportunity to engage natural structures, patterns, processes and procedures to derive a solution that is in essence about regeneration. A new enclosure for the pump house functions as a skin that is both porous and camouflaged. The green roof insulates the building and a system of alternating vents and skylights allow the station to breathe. The inverted “sink holes” depressed within reflecting pools reference the behavior of fresh rainwater to seep into, be filtered by, and subsequently replenish, the limestone aquifers.