Stunning Surfside Architecture

By: Surfside Apr 06, 2018

Exploring Surfside’s Design Style

Interested in architecture and design? Surfside’s architecture exemplifies the design styles that have defined South Florida development, while also providing insight to the past and present.

As a nod to how architecture has shaped this beachfront enclave, we discuss the Art Deco, Miami Modern, Mediterranean Revival, and contemporary styles found in Surfside that has made it so iconic.


One of the most prominent styles of architecture in Florida is Mediterranean-revival architecture, popular from 1918 to 1940. The style reflects the haciendas in the Spanish New World with red tile roofs, arches and plaster made rough to resemble plastered adobe.

In Surfside, the style is exemplified in the original Surf Club. The Mediterranean-revival building showcases all the tenets of the style, including beautiful plaster walls, a tile roof, and rich wood details. It was designed by architect Russell T. Pancoast, who defined the aesthetics of that era, and opened with much fanfare on New Year’s Eve in 1930.

The surrounding town of Surfside soon followed with many of the town’s buildings and homes mirroring the Mediterranean style of the Surf Club.

Art Deco & Miami Modern

Another prominent architecture style that can be seen in Surfside is Art Deco and Miami Modern. Art Deco architecture is a modern take on neoclassical design that originated in Paris in 1925 and made its way to Miami between the late 1920s and 1940s. The style is characterized by bright colors, porthole windows, glass blocks, and motifs of exotic flora and fauna.

Miami Modernist architecture, or MiMo as it’s aptly nicknamed, is a regional style of architecture that developed in South Florida during the post-war period. Both styles have now becoming a defining symbol of Miami Beach, with over 800 buildings and structures recorded in the National Register of Historical Places.

In town, Surfside has a designated historic district that is comprised of a collection of 10 nearly intact late-Art Deco and Miami Modern apartment buildings on 90th and Collins

Each of the buildings in the historic district was designed and built between 1946 and 1957 by a mid-20th century Miami architect – Architect Gilbert M Fein designed six of the ten buildings; Art Deco master Henry Hohauser designed two; and Edward Nolan and Russell Pancoast each designed one. All of them can be easily be seen by car or on foot.


There are also a few notable contemporary structures that have shifted the Surfside skyline in the last few years.

Built in 2016, The Fendi Chateau is an expansive contemporary oceanfront building that can’t be missed. The first FENDI-branded residential project in the world, it was designed by Miami’s starchitect group Arquitectonica and features an undulating glass façade that mimics the ebb and flow of the water below.

For a more immersive architectural experience, head to The Four Seasons at The Surf Club. The sprawling 12-acre property opened in early 2017 and was designed by the renowned modernist Richard Meier, whose signature is large geometric volumes and a masterful use of light. The building also incorporates the original 1930s Russell Pancoast-designed Surf Club building into its design. The interiors, designed by Joseph Dirand, are also architectural wonders, incorporating a dose of tropical modernism to the furnishings.

Whether you’re here for a day or a week, there are opportunities to explore Surfside’s architectural delights at every corner!

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