Espirito Santo Plaza Opens After Three Years of Construction 

mixed_espiritoDesigned by the renowned architectural firm Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates, the Espirito Santo Bank headquarters conveys formality in the guise of a 483 foot tall, 37-story tower. The gross area is approximately 755,000 square feet with office floors on levels three to 15, hotel floors 16 to 22, and residential floors 26 to 35. The tower is located forward on the site to maximize its presence along Brickell Street.

The 30-story-high figural arched façade greets the public in a welcoming embrace.

The foundation system consists of 24-inch diameter auger-cast piles anchored to reinforced concrete pile caps. The piles extend approximately 55 feet into the ground. Each pile has a capacity of 400 tons in compression. The piles have a reinforcing cage that extends over their full height and are constructed with 7,500-psi grout.

The typical office floor framing consists of a 7.5-inch post-tensioned concrete slab spanning in the north-south direction and supported by concrete post-tensioned beams. The beams span in the east-west direction between the reinforced concrete exterior columns and the centrally located reinforced concrete core. Beam spans range from 30- to 50-feet. The office floors are free of interior columns to provide maximum flexibility in the layout of the office spaces.

mixed_espirito_2The hotel floors are above the office floors. The typical hotel floor consists of a 6.5-inch post-tensioned flat plate supported by reinforced concrete columns. The columns are spaced from 15- to 24-feet on center and are typically hidden inside partitions. The column layout of the hotel floors is different from that of the office floors. At floor 16, a system of post-tensioned girders transfers the hotel column loads to the core walls and exterior columns of the office floors below.

The typical residential floor consists of a 7-inch post-tensioned flat plate supported by reinforced concrete columns. The columns are spaced from 15-to 28-feet on center. At floor 25, the interior residential columns are transferred to the core walls and exterior columns of the hotel floors. The columns at the west face of the building slope to accommodate the sloping facade.

The wind loads are resisted primarily by the reinforced concrete core walls. At the mechanical floors, concrete outrigger and belt walls link the core to the exterior columns. These outriggers significantly increase the lateral stiffness of the tower by engaging the exterior columns. The outrigger and belt walls extend from floor 23 to 25.

Concrete strengths for the building walls and columns range from 4,000 psi in the upper floors to 8,000 psi for the lower floors, while the floor slabs use 6,000-psi concrete.

Concrete was selected as the material of choice for this project because of the economical advantage of concrete construction and earlier occupancy, since the project can be started without long lead times. Furthermore, concrete flat plates are the system of choice for floor systems in mixed-use buildings because of their economy, speed and ease of construction superior vibration control, and inherent fire resistance.


Estoril Incorporated, Miami, Florida

Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates, PC, New York, New York

Structural Engineer:
Leslie E. Robertson Associates, RLLP, New York, New York

Rebar Subcontractor:
FCB Contractors, West Palm Beach, Florida

Concrete Supplier:
Rinker Materials, Houston, Texas

Construction Manager:
AMEC Incorporated