Conversation with Allan T. Shulman
Miami Modern Metropolis at the Bass Museum of Art
Wednesday, October 14th, 2009
By: Marie-Junie Pierre
Miami-Based Architect Allan T. Shulman is dedicated to balancing historic and contemporary design elements. The Architect, who is also the founder of Shulman Architect, P.A. has worked on various preservation projects in Miami Beach, providing a wide range of services from architectural work to interior design as well as consulting and urban planning. Shulman has emerged with a signature style that combines the area’s existing historic building stock with contemporary concepts. His specialization in the design of hotels and motels over the past decade has resulted in a portfolio that makes his firm one of the most sought after hospitality designers. As a member of the U.S. Green Building Council, and various other notable organizations, Shulman has made a huge contribution towards architecture and the beautification of the city of Miami and continues to do so through his numerous preservation and developmental projects.
Premier Guide’s Marie-Junie Pierre got a chance to conduct a one on one interview with the Architect at the Bass Miami Museum of Art, where he launched the release of his new book, Miami Modern Metropolis.
PGM: Thank you so much for meeting with Premier Guide tonight. Congratulations on your new book. Can you briefly summarize what Miami Modern Metropolis is about?
ATS: This book is a critical appraisal of Miami from 1945 to 1965. It provides an overview of the planning and architecture of the city and the significance thereof both nationally and internationally from those years as well as today. The book also tries to determine whether the objectives of the original architects and planners were met in building and developing the city.
PGM: How do you think your experience as an architect influenced the writing in this book?
ATS: I think my architectural experience had an immense influence on this book. This book culminates from driving around Miami with the mindset of an Architect and seeing things that could be discussed when looking at certain buildings. The projects that I worked on allowed my academic side to take over and gave me the opportunity to notice a lot of things and to bring those things to light.
PGM: How much preservation work are you involved in and what does preservation work entail?
ATS: I do a lot of preservation work, expansion work as well as redevelopment. I initially start with the study of the building, in order to get a better understanding of the process involved. I then proceed with the practical side, which is the actual work on the building.
PGM: As an Architect who has done a lot of preservation work in South Florida, do you feel that there are any particular areas that need to be worked on immediately for preservation purposes?
ATS: Definitely. Miami is a treasure tribe of interesting neighborhoods. Some have a good quality of life but there are many more that need to be reintegrated into the larger picture of things. There are some neighborhoods that need to be revived need and undergo development. It is up to each individual neighborhood to define itself better by speaking out about what it wants. This is what every city and every area needs in order to successfully develop.
PGM: Are you currently working on any projects?
ATS: I am currently completing the construction and development of the old Sabal in Miami Beach. This building will now be a SoHo House Hotel and it will be called the SoHo Beach House. It is scheduled for completion mid-next year and is definitely the largest project we are working on right now.
PGM: That sounds really exciting. I look forward to seeing it once it’s completed. Thank you so much for taking the time and meeting with Premier Guide.
For more information on Allan T. Shulman’s work, visit: