A homegrown starchitect

If I were Arquitectonica co-founder Bernardo Fort-Brescia, I would have a hard time keeping my ego in check as I drive around Miami and see all the projects my firm has designed.

Coming up Brickell Avenue from my office in Coconut Grove I’d drive past the Atlantis condominium and think of how it helped catapult my company’s initial success and appeared in the opening credits for “Miami Vice.” I’d pass the Palace condominium and then Icon Brickell as I get ready to head over the Miami River. A few blocks away, I could drive by Brickell City Centre, Brickell Heights, the 500 Brickell condominium and the SLS Brickell Hotel and Residences.

Heading north, I’d take the curve onto Biscayne Boulevard and drive past One Miami and then the AmericanAirlines Arena and the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts. If I had time, I could go further north and go by the Marina Blue Condominium or head west to the Wilkie D. Ferguson U.S. Federal Courthouse.

If I took Interstate 195 to the beach, I’d pass the Blue Condominium. If I took the MacArthur Causeway, I’d pass the Miami Children’s Museum. At the beach, I might take a look at Artécity, Latitude, the Carillon Miami Wellness Resort, the Ritz-Carlton Resorts and Residences, the Z Ocean Hotel or the Miami City Ballet building. If I needed a place to park, I’d pull into the Ballet Valet Parking Garage.

Sort of amazing, right? So, what does Fort-Brescia actually think when he drives around? You’ll have to look to the end of this issue’s cover story to get his answer.

I do have a few more takeaways about Fort-Brescia.

One is how he was one of the early ambassadors that helped make Miami a bigger player internationally. Developers globally took notice of what Arquitectonica was doing in Miami and you can see its projects all over the world.

He had a willingness to take risks early in the company’s history. Projects broke the mold and he wasn’t afraid to open offices in international markets.

Finally, it’s good to focus on your passion. Fort-Brescia’s passion is architecture, so that’s what he focuses on. He has a CEO in New York to handle the business operations of the company.

What’s next for Fort-Brescia? Given the SFBW December cover story on revitalization of the historic area of downtown Miami in December, I asked if he was going to be doing projects there. Yes, but he couldn’t talk about it yet. That will have to wait for another story.

  Kevin Gale

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Drew Limsky

Drew Limsky



Drew Limsky joined Lifestyle Media Group in August 2020 as Editor-in-Chief of South Florida Business & Wealth. His first issue of SFBW, October 2020, heralded a reimagined structure, with new content categories and a slew of fresh visual themes. “As sort of a cross between Forbes and Robb Report, with a dash of GQ and Vogue,” Limsky says, “SFBW reflects South Florida’s increasingly sophisticated and dynamic business and cultural landscape.”

Limsky, an avid traveler, swimmer and film buff who holds a law degree and Ph.D. from New York University, likes to say, “I’m a doctor, but I can’t operate—except on your brand.” He wrote his dissertation on the nonfiction work of Joan Didion. Prior to that, Limsky received his B.A. in English, summa cum laude, from Emory University and earned his M.A. in literature at American University in connection with a Masters Scholar Award fellowship.

Limsky came to SFBW at the apex of a storied career in journalism and publishing that includes six previous lead editorial roles, including for some of the world’s best-known brands. He served as global editor-in-chief of Lexus magazine, founding editor-in-chief of custom lifestyle magazines for Cadillac and Holland America Line, and was the founding editor-in-chief of Modern Luxury Interiors South Florida. He also was the executive editor for B2B magazines for Acura and Honda Financial Services, and he served as travel editor for Conde Nast. Magazines under Limsky’s editorship have garnered more than 75 industry awards.

He has also written for many of the country’s top newspapers and magazines, including The New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Miami Herald, Boston Globe, USA Today, Worth, Robb Report, Afar, Time Out New York, National Geographic Traveler, Men’s Journal, Ritz-Carlton, Elite Traveler, Florida Design, Metropolis and Architectural Digest Mexico. His other clients have included Four Seasons, Acqualina Resort & Residences, Yahoo!, American Airlines, Wynn, Douglas Elliman and Corcoran. As an adjunct assistant professor, Limsky has taught journalism, film and creative writing at the City University of New York, Pace University, American University and other colleges.