Artists in Residence

The Ritz-Carlton residences on Miami Beach are designed by artists, for artists—and other high-net-worth ocean lovers



Ricardo Dunin was cruising the waters off Miami when he and his friend, Miami sculptor and artist Tatiana Blanco, began a casual conversation about the benefits of art on the human psyche.

Dunin, a founding partner of Lionheart Capital, the developers of The Ritz-Carlton Residences, Miami Beach, immediately got onboard. “Tatiana said how important it was that people have a way to express themselves,” Dunin recalls. “I thought, This could be interesting: a shared space to do art.”

In what is apparently a worldwide first, the new Ritz-Carlton development will include a state-of-the-art studio where homeowners and their families and guests can create. “We were surprised it had never been done before, anywhere, in any project,” Dunin says, noting that condominium developments don’t normally support individual artistic expression. “It will be like having a gym downstairs,” he contends. “No more excuses.”

The art studio, located on the ground floor, will offer plenty of space as well as a custom light wall that imitates Northern light—optimal for painting—24 hours a day. Other planned amenities include: a stock of art supplies, wall space for canvases, a stone surface for sculpting, special tables for jewelry making and beading, a working sink, and a library of art books for inspiration. 

The studio design project is also a first for the architect, Piero Lissoni of the Italian architectural firm Lissoni Associati. Lissoni and his staff have undertaken iconic projects, including the historic renovation and addition of the Mamilla Hotel in Jerusalem; the renovation of the Ferrari Club House at the Fiorano racetrack in Emilia-Romagna, Italy; and the interior design of Tribù, the 165-foot-long superyacht owned by Luciano Benetton. 

Lissoni embraced the design project from the beginning. “An art studio is really an extraordinary amenity to offer residents,” he says. “The studio will provide people with a space and an outlet for their creativity. It can be therapeutic, too. The creative process for so many people is thrilling and relaxing at the same time.”

More than half of the Miami Beach residences have been sold; prices range from $2 million to $40 million. The Lissoni-designed homes—111 condominium residences and 15 single-family villas—will include community entertainment spaces and 36 private boat docks. The homes, ranging from two to five bedrooms and from 2,000 to 10,000-plus square feet, boast sleek, calming interiors also designed by Lissoni. The residences are set on more than seven and a half acres of gardens and pools in a quiet enclave at the meeting point of Surprise Lake, the Atlantic Ocean, and the Intracoastal Waterway.

Lissoni’s architecture is an art form in itself. The unique architectural design of the exterior differs from the structure’s interior, working together in harmony. “The idea for an art studio within the building really didn’t formalize until we dug into the programming for the interior of the building,” Lissoni adds. His intention for the studio was to create “a white canvas” where residents can express their own creativity and make things of beauty.

Dunin will live in a ground-floor residence facing Surprise Lake, where he can dock his boat outside his front door. “It feels like a house on the water,” Dunin says of his6,000-square-foot residence. A native of Brazil, he has lived in Miami for 27 years.

Dunin’s appreciation of art started early, during childhood, thanks mainly to his mother, the late Claudie Dunin, a talented sculptor and painter. “She believed in art in public places,” Dunin says. “Art was all around me.” It is obvious to him that his mother created “as a way to decompress,” he adds.

While Dunin places a high value on the therapeutic and creative effects of art, he hasn’t—so far—devoted himself to a personal art project. But he will “for sure” make use of the art studio. “It can become a family activity,” he says.

No one should be surprised if Lissoni, whose architecture is an art form itself, shows up. “This space is about uninhabited creativity and self-expression,” he says. “I cannot wait to see how residents use it.”



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