Five Things You May Not Know About Villa Regina
Most people know it as the “Rainbow Building” because of its signature paint scheme, but here are a few things that you may not have known about South Brickell’s Villa Regina.
1- The paint scheme is actually “The Largest Painting in the World”
When the building was constructed in 1980, Miami was in the midst of a sales slump. The developer was having a difficult time choosing the paint color for the exterior, so consulted Israeli artist, Yaacov Agam. He commissioned Agam to design something cheerful and generate market buzz. Here is a quote from Agam regarding the commission, from an article in the New York Times back in 1984:
”The middle of the building will be white. From there the color scale goes up and down, so that the building will seem to be glowing, radiating color and energy out of itself.”
”The colors are the colors of the rainbow; they will create almost an enormous arc of Noah,” he said, referring to the rainbow that marked the covenant between God and every living creature. ”Today, when the world could be destroyed at any moment, it will be a sign of hope. The colors will also make you happy. That’s what Miami stands for.”
There is also a theme of the number 13 in the mural, a number that represents good fortune in Jewish culture. There are 13 colors used in the spectrum, 13 levels from the center of the building and the job took 13 days to complete.
2 – Villa Regina was one of Ugo Colombo’s first projects.
As beautiful and eye-catching as it may be, Agam’s painting was not enough to reignite sales and the project was taken over in 1987 by the FDIC, which had insured the original construction loan that was foreclosed upon.
Mr. Colombo stepped in with Trammell Crow from Dallas and purchased the remaining inventory. They spent $2 million renovating the landscaping, finishes, and restored Agam’s work, reduced prices by 25% and made the project a success. Ugo Colombo’s CMC Group has gone on to develop such projects as Santa Maria, Bristol Tower, Epic Hotel and Residences and the brand-new Brickell Flatiron.
3 – The lobby is currently being renovated, with completion just around the corner.
Although the building just received a new lobby around 2011, it is being renovated again. The previous lobby was too dark and classic, the building needed something bright and contemporary… like Miami.
Here is a sneak peek at what it will look like when complete.
The lights are already glittering, they can be seen from buildings blocks away. The front desk is being installed now and we are looking forward to seeing the finished product very soon. In the meantime, look at this “before” pic. It reminds me of a corporate hotel in the 1980’s.
And here is a rendering of the before and after. Much better.
4 – Villa Regina is one of the few buildings in Brickell that has its own marina.
While Miami is often stereotyped as being a glitzy city with high rise buildings you can pull right up to in your yacht, there really aren’t that many buildings that have their own marina. Even if a developer thought to build one, there is so much red tape from environmentalists that it is almost impossible… not that there’s anything wrong with that.
Existing marinas are grandfathered into the building code, so Villa Regina owners are quite fortunate. The slips are individually owned by the owners in the building, although some opt to lease their slips out to tenants or other owners in the building.
5 – There is an exciting new listing coming up.
Weather permitting, we will be listing a beautiful and extremely spacious 2 bedroom unit with a bay view next week. It is fully renovated and furnished with high ceilings and contemporary design. All we need is the weather to cooperate for a photo shoot and everything will be announced. Here is a sneak peek…stay tuned!