Crystal Cruises has announced plans to make the historic Shrine Building in downtown Miami its central display location for its luxury portfolio.
The 1930s Art Deco landmark located on Biscayne Boulevard will become a preview of the experiences offered in Crystal's brand expansion, including Crystal Yacht Cruises, Crystal River Cruises, Crystal Luxury Air, Crystal AirCruises, Crystal Exclusive Class ocean vessels and Crystal Residences.
Overseeing the project is architect Richard Heisenbottle of South Florida’s R.J. Heisenbottle Architects, P.A. Heisenbottle said he plans to preserve the building's ornamentation, which inlcude the use of coral rock, veneer and inclusion of sculpted Seminole Indians, looks specific to South Florida, as well as incorporate designs that mirror Crystal's brand experience.
Located on Biscayne Boulevard, across from the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts, the Shrine Building was constructed in the then popular Art Deco architectural style of the 1930s. Once dubbed the “Fifth Avenue of the South," it was part of a striking ensemble of modern retail buildings that lined the newly created Biscayne Boulevard and defined it as a high end shopping district. It stands adjacent to Crystal’s Miami branch office, which opened in June 2015.
Designed to mirror many of the experiences aboard Crystal vessels, the showcase building will have showrooms for the residences planned for Crystal's upcoming "Exclusive Class" ocean-going ships. On the ground floor will be the Bistro Lounge, akin to the Bistro Café found aboard Crystal Symphony and Crystal Serenity, as well as a Crystal AirCruises exhibit. Consultants will be on hand to provide information and answer questions about the Residences and other Crystal vacations. Also on the ground floor will be a specialty restaurant, which will offer a menu reminiscent of what guests can experience on Crystal vacations.
On the next floor up will be a 180-degree cinematic experience of all things Crystal. Grand-scale murals and living walls will be used, highlighting the global experiences and destinations offered with Crystal. The two large balconies, that currently adorn the building, will be outfitted to reflect a ship’s private veranda, with views of Biscayne Bay. Individual private conference rooms will line the perimeter of the second floor, offering a quiet space for guests to learn more about Crystal Residences.
Throughout the building, signature touches of the various Crystal vacation experiences will be showcased, including a submarine suspended from the vast second floor ceiling that illustrates the adventures offered with Crystal’s yacht, Crystal Esprit, and the upcoming expedition megayacht, Crystal Endeavor, and a waterfall cascading around the outdoor dining courtyard to create the atmosphere at sea.
Crystal's upcoming Residences will be situated on the top deck of the new “Exclusive Class” ships and will have their own private restaurant, reception and facilities. The 48 Residences will start at 600 square feet to more than 4,000 square feet of interior living area.
Open to visitors every day of the week into the evenings, Crystal’s showcase building is set to open in spring of 2017.