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Sail on, Royal Caribbean: HOK-designed headquarters celebrates cruise ship industry

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Office Buildings

Sail on, Royal Caribbean: HOK-designed headquarters celebrates cruise ship industry

The building’s design is inspired by the design of its fleet of cruise ships—with flowing lines.

By Jonathan Barnes, Contributing Editor | May 14, 2019

All renderings courtesy HOK

To keep its Miami employees rowing in the same direction, Royal Caribbean recently unveiled plans for a 350,000 SF headquarters building. To be located on the company’s campus on Dodge Island, the headquarters structure is meant to bring together employees who are working in its Miami office spaces.

The building’s design is inspired by the design of its fleet of cruise ships—with flowing lines.

“Informed by the modern design and playful nature of Royal Caribbean’s ships, the building flows up from the water’s edge,” says Kenneth Drucker, FAIA, LEED AP, design principal at HOK. “The undulating facade and terraces eventually culminate in a three-level garden atrium space. This volumetric outdoor space brings the healing power of nature right into the heart of the building, reinforcing Royal Caribbean’s commitment to wellness.”



The edge of each floor will extend out to create horizontal shading canopies. Terraces that face downtown Miami will be situated within the rooftop sky garden—which itself will be set around the executive floor, at the southeast corner of the building, overlooking the ocean.

Created with a curvilinear form, the headquarters building will be showcased at night by LED lighting. The modernistic building will be located close to the cruise terminals and ships in Biscayne Bay.


See Also: Yeti’s new global headquarters evokes the outdoors


The building will be boomerang-shaped, a design that will enable more daylight to enter further into the building. The structure will include offices, an auditorium, cafeteria, and training rooms. The top floor will house an executive suite and event space.



A parking structure that is planned to sit adjacent to the headquarters will include unique features. Atop the parking garage, the soft thud of players kicking balls will be heard across a soccer field, the squeals of athletic shoes will resound from basketball courts, and around it, joggers will jog laps on a running track. The development will be set amidst a greener campus, with less asphalt, in a courtyard with native plants and walking paths.

The headquarters design is being done by HOK. In addition to performing interior design and architecture for the project, HOK is leading master planning, sustainability consulting, experience design, lighting design, and structural engineering.

The design factors in the local environment in common-sense ways. It accounts for both expected and temporary sea level rises in Miami. By raising part of the building well above sea level, a structural contingency is in place, should flooding occur. The lobby will sit more than 15 feet above sea level; some mechanical systems will be situated in a mezzanine level, 20 feet above sea level.


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