The Barcardi Buildings

The dominant architecture style of Miami Beach is usually recognized as Art Deco, but there are a few Modernist gems such as the old Bacardi Rum headquarters. The complex located at 2100 Biscayne Blvd, consists of two structures; an 8-story tower built in 1962-63 and a 2-story cantilevered building built in 1973.


The 2-story building, coined the "Jewel Box on a Pedestal", was designed by architect Ignacio Carerra-Justiz of Coral Gables, Florida. The 2nd story cantilevers out 24' from its central core on all sides and is completely wrapped with 1" thick hammered glass mosaic windows. The windows, fashioned after a painting by German artist Johannes Dietz, were produced by stained glass artists Gabriel and Jacques Loire of Chartes, France.

Photo: Adam Mizrahi
Note the signature of ceramic tile muralist Francisco Brennand in the upper left corner. Photo: Mizrahi
Photo: Saikofish
Photo: Jeroen Bosman
Photo: Robin Hill
Photo: Adam Mizrahi
Photo: Adam Mizrahi
The Loire's- 3 generations of stained glass artists, c . 1989. L to R: Bruno, Jacques, Gabriel, Hervé.
Architect Ignacio Carrera-Justiz, c. 2010. via

The 8-story Bacardi Tower, designed by Cuban architect Enrique H. Gutierrez, was constructed in just over a year and was formally dedicated on January 25, 1964. The north and south facades of the tower are adorned with "azulejo" murals designed by Brazilian artist Francisco Brennand. The murals consist of 28,000 6" x 6" hand painted tiles which were fired in Brazil and hand numbered for proper installation on site. It took over 6 months to complete the installation process alone.

Photo: Adam Mizrahi
Photo: Life Pilgrim
Photo: Dan Macy
Photo: Adam Mizrahi
Photo: Adam Mizrahi
Photo: Adam Mizrahi
Brazilian ceramic artist Francisco Brennand (b. 1927). Image via

Clipping about Cuban architect Enrique H. Gutierrez, from Life Magazine, Dec. 10, 1971

Links of Interest:
Go to- Historic designation report on the Bacardi Buildings from the City of Miami, 2009
Go to- Article about the buildings in Dade Heritage Trust's Preservation Today. April 2011, pg 30.
Go to- Video tour of the Bacardi Buildings with Tito Bacardi
Go to- Video of opening of Bacardi's new headquarters in Coral Gables, Florida

5 comments:

Nancie Mills Pipgras said...

Bravo and many thanks! This is a phenomenal post. I do so appreciate the effort you put into each piece, but this one is way over the top!

Mid-Centuria said...

Glad you liked it! Thanks!

RobertYVR said...

If I ever become Supreme World Dictator And Arbiter Of How All Things Are To Be Done, all buildings will be required to have a mosaic mural.

René Claude said...

Quelle classe ! Si seulement ces beaux immeubles conçus il y a 40-50 ans pouvaient inspirer les architectes de 2011, les architectes et surtout leurs commanditaires. Je ne sais pas chez vous, mais à Genève (CH), ces dernières années on a vu sortir de terre des horreurs sans lignes conçues par des architectes sans espoir.
Et encore bravo pour votre formidable site !

Mid-Centuria said...

Merci beaucoup!