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Opening the turquoise cover of this book by architect Giller and his granddaughter, Sarah, is like stepping into the world of the Jetsons. All of his resorts, nightclubs, office buildings, and family houses celebrated innovative technology (air-conditioning!), new materials (Formica!), and the dramatic shapes and roof forms that came to exemplify the style known as Miami Modern, or "MiMo."
The sheer output of Giller's eponymous firm was remarkable. In 1946 he announced the opening of his Miami offices and attracted upwards of 50 clients. By the end of 1968 he and his associates had executed plans for more than 85 separate commissions in the U.S., and Central and South America.
All of those projects were inspired by the abundant sunshine and vibrant colors of South Florida and the Caribbean, and each of them exudes theatricality. It's easy to imagine how impressed visitors must have felt when they drove up to the glowing windows of his Copa City Night Club in Miami Beach, or descended the floating staircase to the lobby of his Thunderbird Motel in Sunny Isles. I only wish I'd had the chance to experience the late architect's famed Diplomat Hotel before its demolition. Distinguished by a massive concrete canopy at the entrance and a bold line of circles punched through the cantilevered roof, the Diplomat was the commission he often called his masterpiece.