A Single Tree Could Halt BIG Project In Florida
February 6, 2013
Of all the things to stop Bjarke Ingels‘ (and that hair’s) incredible winning streak, who would have thought a tree might do the job. A protected 80-year-old tree located on the site of BIG’s Marina Lofts project for Ft. Lauderdale has locals worried about its fate. According to a report by the Wall Street Journal, the octogenarian rain tree (albizia saman)—the largest in Florida—stands on the spot of one of BIG’s 36-story mixed-use towers that form the heart of developer Asi Cymbal’s plan to revitalize downtown Ft. Lauderdale. Continue.
The 80-year-old rain tree, relocated in BIG’s plan
Cymbal stresses that the development has sufficiently accommodated for the tree’s preservation. BIG’s plan sees the 60-foot-high and 127-foot-wide tree relocated to another part of the site, where it will anchor a future pedestrian promenade that will run through the project towards the waterfront. This relocation, Cymbal argues, will finally open the tree up to the public who have been barred access to the landmark for years. He has also hired an aborist who claims the the tree can be safely removed and replanted.
Critics of the project disagree and claim that moving the tree will only invite damage and its eventual decline. They have incited a 1987 city ordinance that protects the site from demolition or removal and are lobbying local officials to prevent Cymbal from dislodging the tree. The city will vote this spring to decide the fate of both the tree and BIG’s designs.