The International Longshoremen’s Association “ILA” is the largest union of maritime workers in North America. The roots of ILA started in the 1500s when the arrival of each new ship bearing goods from the Old World was greeted with men who loaded and unloaded the ships at the seaport. As the nation matured, the number of professional longshoremen grew by thousands and in 1877 a new union was formed on the banks of the Great Lakes later to be known as the International Longshoremen’s Association. 1. Design Team: Daniela Romero (Project Leader) and Pawel Hanusowski.

Recently, Building center No. 3 was hired by the ILA of Miami-Dade County to improve the design of their existing building facade and fence along NW 2nd Ave. These improvements will also consequently benefit the pedestrian experience through the area in Overtown, Miami-FL. An additional goal of the Longshoremen project is to serve as a community outreach effort to aid in the creation of partnerships between BC3 and other local firms to help redevelop the neighborhood.


The design team proposed a scheme that incorporates the concept of the building as the man-made structure, such as a ship, and the connecting wall as natural waves, such as the ocean. The design has been programmed to happen in two phases. Phase one will consist on the implementation of an exterior wave wall along NW 2nd Ave made of cast-in-place concrete with perforations meant to evoke portholes on ships. This phase will also include the addition of a perforated metal screen on the exterior South and West facades showing a graphic collage image designed to represent the International Longshoremen Association of Miami-Dade and the union’s place in the history of Overtown. The sidewalk along NW 2nd Ave will receive a pattern with a custom brushed stainless steel inlay compass and a text containing the association name. Phase two will consist of the addition of a metal cladding layer to the first story of the West facade. The cladding is reminiscent of the panels of a ship’s hull, and the blue gliding across the facade is a pixelated, or fragmented continuation of the concrete wave wall enclosing the property. Lastly, the design team proposed a trellis over the first story cladding which is meant to cantilever, similar to an awning, over the sidewalk and will illuminate both the paving and the decorative metal inlay compass embedded in the pavement. Taken together the designers at BC3 addressed the client’s goal of telling their story to the public using a mix of nautical themes and contemporary architectural design elements.

If you are interested in seeing and understanding some of the design process we posted sketches on our Google + page. We also created a Pinterest Board in the early stages of the project to gather the inspirational images: https://goo.gl/IPrQy8

1.”History.” International Longshoremen’s Association. Web. 14 Aug. 2015.