By D. Channing Muller Posted December 1, 2009, 2:03 PM EST
MIAMI/SOUTH FLORIDA To launch its newest A8 model with a big statement in an unconventional environment, Audi created a 45,000-square-foot temporary structure to showcase the car throughout Art Basel Miami Beach (which begins Thursday at the Miami Beach Convention Center).
On the beach just north of the Eden Roc Renaissance Miami Beach, Audi's Art of Progress pavilion took six weeks to erect and houses a light installation from English designer and artist Tom Dixon and a selection of art from local collectors the Rubell family.
“This is the 100-year anniversary for Audi and we are introducing our A8, which is the brand’s flagship model, so we were looking for an extraordinary environment to launch the car,” said Anja Kaehny, manager of lifestyle communications and social responsibility for Audi. “We looked at different buildings in Miami but there were none that suited our needs, so the idea by doing it near the Eden Roc was to create a temporary museum that would have a balcony opening it to the ocean.”
The pavilion houses three spaces: an arena, an art exhibition space, and an outdoor lounge. German architecture firm the Design Company worked with Audi and Miami-based temporary structure company EventStar and event management firm Siinc Agency to design and construct the building. In addition to Monday night’s unveiling for more than 900 local and international journalists, the structure will host two private events—a brunch this morning and dinner tonight—for Audi owners, dealers, and executives. The pavilion will then be open to the public Wednesday through Saturday from noon to 8 p.m.
“It was important to us that we don’t just do a one evening event but also do something that has an impact with the community of Miami,” Kaehny said.
Monday night’s unveiling began in the arena area, where actress Lucy Liu moderated a discussion about art, Audi’s design philosophy, Miami’s art scene, and how the three tie together with some of Art of Progress's key players. Following a video about the construction of the A8, the stage’s two back walls opened and Audi executives drove two of the new cars onto a platform for the official debut. Guests then made their way into the exhibition area of the pavilion for cocktails and passed hors d’oeuvres from chef David Bouley.
Following the deconstruction of the building—which will take three weeks—a park sponsored by Audi will be erected on the site by the City of Miami Beach. Audi will also once again create a sponsor lounge at Design Miami, which opens tonight in the design district with an invitation-only Vernissage preview party.