The showcase will encompass the grand scale of Crystal's future, president and ceo Edie Rodriguez said, adding that visitors will experience the 'personal attention to detail and unmatched service that sets us apart from all the others.'
Overseeing the building project is architect Richard Heisenbottle of South Florida’s R.J. Heisenbottle Architects, PA, who will bring the historic building into a new era.
The building is 'particularly noteworthy because its ornamentation, use of coral rock, veneer and inclusion of sculpted Seminole Indians are architectural characteristics specific to South Florida,' Heisenbottle said. 'We will preserve the original quality and character of the building and add new features that mirror Crystal’s ultimate luxury brand experience.'
Located on Biscayne Boulevard across from the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts, the Shrine Building was built in the Art Deco style of the 1930s. Once dubbed the 'Fifth Avenue of the South,' it was part of an ensemble of modern retail buildings that lined the newly created Biscayne Boulevard and defined it as a high-end shopping district.
What will become the Crystal showcase stands adjacent to the line's Miami branch office, opened in June 2015.
Designed to mirror nuances travelers experience aboard Crystal vessels, the showcase building will have a vast ground floor entrance with high ceilings. Here will be the showrooms for the residences planned for the Exclusive Class ships. Visitors can sip espresso served at a lounge akin to the Bistro Café aboard Crystal Symphony and Crystal Serenity or explore the 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 an elegant restaurant offering the same standard of cuisine and service as aboard Crystal ships.
Up one floor will be a 180-degree cinematic experience about Crystal. Grand-scale murals and living walls will be featured, highlighting the global experiences and destinations offered. The two large balconies that currently adorn the building will be outfitted to reflect a ship’s private veranda, capitalizing on the building’s close proximity to Biscayne Bay.
Private conference rooms will line the perimeter of the second floor, offering a quiet space for visitors to learn more about Crystal Residences. These 48 homes on the top deck of the Exclusive Class ships will have their own private restaurant, reception and facilities. Residences will stretch from 600 square feet to more than 4,000 square feet of interior living area.
Throughout the showcase building, touches of the various Crystal vacation experiences will be showcased, including a submarine suspended from the second floor ceiling recalling that aboard the yacht Crystal Esprit and the upcoming expedition megayacht, Crystal Endeavor. A waterfall cascading around the outdoor dining courtyard is intended to create the atmosphere at sea.
Crystal’s showcase building is set to open in spring 2017 and will receive visitors every day of the week into the evenings.