DMAC Architecture & Interiors designs the first automotive complex in Miami
COMPETITION CLUB LAUNCHES PRIVATE AUTOMOBILE RESORT IN MIAMI
Miami hosts many firsts in the world of motorsport. As Formula 1 kicks off its first-ever race in Florida, the roar of high-revving engines and squealing tires have become an increasingly familiar alluring sound in the city. North America’s most modern driving circuit, called The Concours Club, opened in Miami in 2021, offering collectors and hyper racing car enthusiasts an exclusive vacation spot for anything and everything. automobile. This microcosm of motorsport is the creative conception of DMAC Architecture & Interiors, who designed and detailed almost every aspect of the Club with founder Neil Gehani.
designboom joins the unique design journey by speaking with Dwayne MacEwen, Director of DMAC Architecture & Interiors, as he created the modern runway experience in Miami.
the electric porsche taycan charges under the solar panel canopy
‘Everything we do as a practice exists in a cultural context,‘ begins Dwayne MacEwen in the interview with designboom. ‘Our approach begins with the site. It’s incredibly important for me to have and get inspired location during design. I think a lot of our inspiration comes from these initial (and ongoing) sites visits. Architecture must always engage the user on a human scale and give back to the place, integrating the cultural context into the design. This immersion in spaceour hands-on mentality and confidence in the process was very apparent with The Concours Club.‘
Dwayne MacEwen, director of DMAC Architecture and Interiors, believes in storytelling. Everything the company designs matters – and that really means everythingespecially in the case of The Club Competition. Originally, Dwayne and his team were tasked with designing one or two buildings for the club, but were eventually tasked with overseeing the project to realize Neil’s vision. Their creative process is deeply rooted in site visits, understanding user needs, and designing unique experiences. At the Miami Automotive Resort, it ranged from general master plans to lighting and even artwork.
‘Dwayne and his team at DMAC Architecture & Interiors have been instrumental in bringing my vision to life,‘ explains Neil Gehani, founder of the Concours Club. ‘I appreciated the unique design, level of quality and detail of their previous work. I knew Dwayne was the perfect fit, and his creativity was exactly what we needed for the Club.‘
The Concours Club’s 80-acre site includes a two-mile running track designed by Alan L. Wilson
All photographs by Anthony Tahlier
A MODERN DAY, A FORMULA 1 DRIVING CIRCUIT
Located in the Miami-Opa Locka Executive Airport, the Concours Club is a modern Formula 1 driving circuit. The track, designed by Alan L. Wilson, challenges sport riders of all skill levels over two miles of tarmac with 11 turns, three extreme hairpins and multiple elevation changes. Its state-of-the-art circuit is paired with a members-only experience, combining high-tech driving with luxury amenities and impeccable service. It gives a new meaning to a car station.
‘The location of the Club was of the utmost importance and I wanted to make sure that we didn’t force people to go to a distant racecourse. The Concours Club is located in the Miami-Opa Locka Executive Airport, which is only 14 miles from Miami Beach and minutes from Fort Lauderdale,‘ adds Neil.
The unique, members-only experience begins at the gatehouse
‘We visited motorsport facilities across North America before starting this project. We learned what individual components and facilities were needed as well as how members used the clubs. We realized that most lacked a sense of belonging. Clubs were a collection of buildings with paddock areas – that was it. We focused on the emotional impact of the Concours Club,‘ notes Dwayne. ‘The master plan viewed all spaces as connective tissue. Our goal was to choreograph the experience of members from the moment they enter the Club: the opening of the doors, the acoustic sense of the texture of the cobblestone entrance and the way the cars are lit to look as good as possible. Understanding how members moved through spaces became an important source of inspiration as we developed the project.‘
The guardhouse gives the first impression of the club as members walk through a ceremonial tree-lined approach. It is dramatically lit to heighten the feeling of euphoria as you approach the Club. Including the two-mile circuit, the 80-acre resort is a luxury campus for hyper racecar culture. Collectors and car enthusiasts can relax, connect and share their passion for performance driving in the Members’ Lounge, a restaurant designed by Michelin-starred experts, and even private garages for the most exclusive customers. A lifestyle concierge is on hand to help with any request, including a fleet of performance vehicles.
The 11 Turns sculpture shapes the sound of the Club’s racecourse
DMAC ARCHITECTURE & interiors DESIGN DETAILS FOR THE CLUB
Dwayne’s club design considers every aspect of the member’s experience, even the artwork. In the Verge members-only restaurant, a 22-foot-long, 300-pound sculpture hangs from the ceiling. Called 11 Turns, the piece was shaped using a special machine that bends steel tubing. Its form is a physical manifestation of the sound of Hélio Castroneves, four-time Indy Car champion and one of the founding members of the Club, traveling the circuit. Designed by Dwayne, the sculpture elevates the personality of the space.
‘The sculptural piece, 11 Jballot boxes, asks what is the sound of the racetrack looks like? It’s a question I wondered after being there so many times over the years. I made visitors heard more than that overall roar cars on the track. I started to recognize the different sounds of vehicles according to whbefore they are on the circuit. I recorded Helio VSastroves conduct on Track. I so Listened, eyes closed, and sketchesed with charcoal and binyou wire to create a miniature sculpture. It was then transformed into 22 feet long piece which is super meaningful for the racetrack,‘ describes the principle of the architectural firm.
Collectors and car enthusiasts can relax, connect and share their passion for driving in the Members Lounge
No design detail of the Concours Club was left to chance by Dwayne and his team at DMAC Architecture & Interiors. From artwork to lighting and even landscaping, the firm designed the Concours One building, service station, private garages and paddock lounge. The latter is the ultimate driver-centric outdoor lounge as it merges high-performance facilities with luxury. The paddock shade canopy, placed next to the pit lane, is enriched with solar panels. The energy drawn from the Florida sun highlights the green considerations of the project. The 260-meter-long canopy charges the ever-growing fleet of hyper-electric vehicles now seen in the car station.
‘We were developing the paddock and realized that if we are creating a shadow structure, why aren’t we capturing the energy of the sun. It was also a very economical solution,‘ remarks Dwayne. ‘Since the creation of the club, the evolution of the electric vehicle on the performance side has taken off. This made the solar panel shade structure a natural feature.‘
The paddock lounge connects the clubhouse to the pit lane
A MICROCOSM OF MOTORSPORTS IN MIAMI
‘I think as an architect you have to be ambitious and push the client collaboratively rather than antagonistically. Our role as architects is to add value to the process.‘ Dwayne MacEwen concludes, ‘I think we’ve done our job of making the unique Concours Club experience even stronger.‘
Established by hypercar enthusiasts, boosted by an exclusive membership including even former professional champions, and set on a two-mile playground planned by a world-renowned racetrack designer: the Concours Club was undoubtedly intended to become the most modern driving circuit in North America. at the opening. Dwayne MacEwen and DMAC Architecture & Interiors, appointed by Neil Gehani, helped elevate the Club to set a new standard for private racing resorts. Every aspect of its design has been refined and adapted to the needs of collectors and car enthusiasts, from installations to services. A unique experience is choreographed for the clientele. It manifests a microcosm of motorsports in Miami, truly forging a sense of belonging to the hyper racecar culture.