The Adrienne Arsht Center

1300 Biscayne Blvd, Miami, FL 33132, United States

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Undoubtedly one of Miami’s most elegant event spaces is the Adrienne Arsht Center (AAC) for the Performing Arts.

Home to my theater-writing debut, this place holds a special place in my heart, as it is where I saw my first Miami-based musical performance. 

Located right off I95 in downtown Miami, the AAC is comprised of two separate buildings, each of which holds one of the center’s two largest venues – the Ziff Ballet Opera House and the Knight Concert Hall. 

Although architecturally connected by a walking bridge above Biscayne Boulevard, the two venues are stylistically linked by the simplistic and subtle tropical vibes architected by Cesar Pelli of Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects an accented by Cuban American Artist Jose Bedia greeting guests upon entrance into both venues.

The lobbies of both buildings feature terrazzo flooring and glass balcony railings taking the form of sea life, musical instruments, and wild birds that mix the sounds the city with the tropics of the land.  

While the Knight Concert Hall has a more compact entrance space, the Adams Foundation Lobby located in the Ziff Ballet Opera House – is offered as an event space itself. The 8,770 square foot lobby can hold up to 600 people and is a great space for cocktail parties, trade shows, or any pre-show festivities. 

But if the Adams Foundation Lobby is the pre-dinner cheese and crackers, then the Ziff Ballet Opera House is the seven-course, Michelin star meal your mouth waters for. 

This theater makes you feel as if you have just entered the brain of an artist, swallowed the voice of a performer, and made passionate love to your life-long celebrity crush. With theater seating for almost 2,400 guests, the world-renowned satisfies both the audience and the producer. 

For one, the classic horseshoe structure and proscenium stage provides the entire audience with that front-row-feeling. For another, the Ziff stage has not one but three stages, including a main stage, backstage, and side stage that can be utilized as one unit or may be broken up into their own entities to create separated spaces, making it perfect for both Broadway musicals or speaker presentations.

The intense rush that comes from entering the Ziff is an experience that both I and some of our clients have had the privilege of enjoying. One of those hosting an event here in the past describes the space as “Completely mesmerizing – a truly unforgettable place to host an event.”

Equally as “unforgettable” as the grand theater in the Ziff are the surrounding venues also located in the AAC’s main building. The Terra Group Patrons Club (max 120 guests) and Next Generation Green Room (max 100 guests) are both ideal spaces for networking events or business meetings. Meanwhile, those hosting smaller performances or film screenings may utilize the Peacock Foundation Studio (max 300 guests) or Carnival Studio Theater (max 297 guests).

But the AAC is not just the Ziff Ballet Opera House. Head across the walking bridge and you will find yourself in the east building, which is home to the Knight Concert Hall. Slightly more compact than the Ziff, the Knight Concert Hall is perfect for film showings, receptions and banquets, dinner performances, awards ceremonies and product launches.  

What the Ziff offers in terms of grandiose, the Knight makes up for in intimacy. With a more natural aesthetic provided by a design created using light wooden paneling, the theater includes strategically sloped general seating and four tiers of surrounding balconies that give the entire audience a prime view of any performance, speaker presentation, or panel discussion on the stage.  

Built with priorities of functionality and grandeur, the concert hall is a multi-purpose space that can be easily transformed into a festival floor ideal for galas (holding up to 700 guests) and banquets (serving up to 350 guests). 

What I find most notable about the Knight Concert Hall is its structure, which can best be described as what I like to call, sushi inspired

In sushi, you have the good stuff – the fish and the cucumber and the eel and the egg – in the middle. Surrounding that is the rice, and then surrounding both those layers is the seaweed. 

And thus, the sushi would not be sushi if it only had the good stuff. In order for it to be sushi, it has to have everything else that wraps it up – the rice and the seaweed – to give it the full effect of its flavor and actually make it what it is. 

Kind of like the Knight Concert Hall. The Knight itself is the good part – but what makes the hall the world-class acoustic masterpiece that it is, is what it lies inside of. Because The Knight Concert Hall is not just a room – it’s a room, inside of a room, inside of a building. 

And in my opinion, this is what gives the Knight its most remarkable attribute as one of the only places where I have found a silence that can be both heard and seen. The surrounding layers of the hall make it void of any outside sound or vibrations, and the spiral of microphones and instruments make up their own visually astounding work of art on the ceiling of the room itself. 

Like the Ziff, the Knight building also offers several additional event spaces for more bijou events including the Burns Green Room, Cejas Patrons Club, and Peacock Education Center.

Undoubtedly one of Miami’s most elegant event spaces is the Adrienne Arsht Center (AAC) for the Performing Arts.

Home to my theater-writing debut, this place holds a special place in my heart, as it is where I saw my first Miami-based musical performance. 

Located right off I95 in downtown Miami, the AAC is comprised of two separate buildings, each of which holds one of the center’s two largest venues – the Ziff Ballet Opera House and the Knight Concert Hall. 

Although architecturally connected by a walking bridge above Biscayne Boulevard, the two venues are stylistically linked by the simplistic and subtle tropical vibes architected by Cesar Pelli of Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects an accented by Cuban American Artist Jose Bedia greeting guests upon entrance into both venues.

The lobbies of both buildings feature terrazzo flooring and glass balcony railings taking the form of sea life, musical instruments, and wild birds that mix the sounds the city with the tropics of the land.  

While the Knight Concert Hall has a more compact entrance space, the Adams Foundation Lobby located in the Ziff Ballet Opera House – is offered as an event space itself. The 8,770 square foot lobby can hold up to 600 people and is a great space for cocktail parties, trade shows, or any pre-show festivities. 

But if the Adams Foundation Lobby is the pre-dinner cheese and crackers, then the Ziff Ballet Opera House is the seven-course, Michelin star meal your mouth waters for. 

This theater makes you feel as if you have just entered the brain of an artist, swallowed the voice of a performer, and made passionate love to your life-long celebrity crush. With theater seating for almost 2,400 guests, the world-renowned satisfies both the audience and the producer. 

For one, the classic horseshoe structure and proscenium stage provides the entire audience with that front-row-feeling. For another, the Ziff stage has not one but three stages, including a main stage, backstage, and side stage that can be utilized as one unit or may be broken up into their own entities to create separated spaces, making it perfect for both Broadway musicals or speaker presentations.

The intense rush that comes from entering the Ziff is an experience that both I and some of our clients have had the privilege of enjoying. One of those hosting an event here in the past describes the space as “Completely mesmerizing – a truly unforgettable place to host an event.”

Equally as “unforgettable” as the grand theater in the Ziff are the surrounding venues also located in the AAC’s main building. The Terra Group Patrons Club (max 120 guests) and Next Generation Green Room (max 100 guests) are both ideal spaces for networking events or business meetings. Meanwhile, those hosting smaller performances or film screenings may utilize the Peacock Foundation Studio (max 300 guests) or Carnival Studio Theater (max 297 guests).

But the AAC is not just the Ziff Ballet Opera House. Head across the walking bridge and you will find yourself in the east building, which is home to the Knight Concert Hall. Slightly more compact than the Ziff, the Knight Concert Hall is perfect for film showings, receptions and banquets, dinner performances, awards ceremonies and product launches.  

What the Ziff offers in terms of grandiose, the Knight makes up for in intimacy. With a more natural aesthetic provided by a design created using light wooden paneling, the theater includes strategically sloped general seating and four tiers of surrounding balconies that give the entire audience a prime view of any performance, speaker presentation, or panel discussion on the stage.  

Built with priorities of functionality and grandeur, the concert hall is a multi-purpose space that can be easily transformed into a festival floor ideal for galas (holding up to 700 guests) and banquets (serving up to 350 guests). 

What I find most notable about the Knight Concert Hall is its structure, which can best be described as what I like to call, sushi inspired

In sushi, you have the good stuff – the fish and the cucumber and the eel and the egg – in the middle. Surrounding that is the rice, and then surrounding both those layers is the seaweed. 

And thus, the sushi would not be sushi if it only had the good stuff. In order for it to be sushi, it has to have everything else that wraps it up – the rice and the seaweed – to give it the full effect of its flavor and actually make it what it is. 

Kind of like the Knight Concert Hall. The Knight itself is the good part – but what makes the hall the world-class acoustic masterpiece that it is, is what it lies inside of. Because The Knight Concert Hall is not just a room – it’s a room, inside of a room, inside of a building. 

And in my opinion, this is what gives the Knight its most remarkable attribute as one of the only places where I have found a silence that can be both heard and seen. The surrounding layers of the hall make it void of any outside sound or vibrations, and the spiral of microphones and instruments make up their own visually astounding work of art on the ceiling of the room itself. 

Like the Ziff, the Knight building also offers several additional event spaces for more bijou events including the Burns Green Room, Cejas Patrons Club, and Peacock Education Center.

But when your event in any one of these exhilarating venues comes to an end, don’t expect your venture outside the AAC to be any less underwhelming. 

For some pre-dinner tapas or late-night drinks, head to Jaguar Son to try their Miami style cocktails with a Spanish twist such as the “Kingfisher” or my personal favorite, the “Very Strong Baby” accompanied by your choice of exotic snack. Their famous ‘Bikini’ is the fanciest grilled cheese you’ll ever have, made with ham, cheese, apple butter and truffles (your mom could never). 

And the hotels in downtown Miami are just as intoxicating as the drinks, with their views of the bay, easy accessibility, and top-notch service. Well worth the brief Uber drive from the AAC is The Kimpton Epic Miami Hotel. Here, guests can satiate that hangover by utilizing the hotel’s 24-hour room service, or sleep it away whilst getting a tan on the rooftop pool as they enjoy the downtown landscape. 

Still, a stay at the Downtown Hilton is also a great option for AAC goers.  Located on the same street as the AAC, the Hilton contains floor to ceiling window views in every room and an in-house bistro that combines flavors from the Caribbean, South America, and Europe to give all guests the true taste of Miami. 

No matter where you choose to stay or eat in your time around the AAC, there is no doubt that your time downtown will be well spent. But I know all too well that the choice overload making up the Miami dining, hotel and entertainment scene can be overwhelming to even the most experienced traveler.

But when your event in any one of these exhilarating venues comes to an end, don’t expect your venture outside the AAC to be any less underwhelming. 

For some pre-dinner tapas or late-night drinks, head to Jaguar Son to try their Miami style cocktails with a Spanish twist such as the “Kingfisher” or my personal favorite, the “Very Strong Baby” accompanied by your choice of exotic snack. Their famous ‘Bikini’ is the fanciest grilled cheese you’ll ever have, made with ham, cheese, apple butter and truffles (your mom could never). 

And the hotels in downtown Miami are just as intoxicating as the drinks, with their views of the bay, easy accessibility, and top-notch service. Well worth the brief Uber drive from the AAC is The Kimpton Epic Miami Hotel. Here, guests can satiate that hangover by utilizing the hotel’s 24-hour room service, or sleep it away whilst getting a tan on the rooftop pool as they enjoy the downtown landscape. 

Still, a stay at the Downtown Hilton is also a great option for AAC goers.  Located on the same street as the AAC, the Hilton contains floor to ceiling window views in every room and an in-house bistro that combines flavors from the Caribbean, South America, and Europe to give all guests the true taste of Miami. 

No matter where you choose to stay or eat in your time around the AAC, there is no doubt that your time downtown will be well spent. But I know all too well that the choice overload making up the Miami dining, hotel and entertainment scene can be overwhelming to even the most experienced traveler.

If you are looking for more specific information about the AAC in terms of venue size, space compatibility, or additional information about the area, contact us by clicking here. We’d love to chat and help you plan your event here in Miami.

If you are looking for more specific information about the AAC in terms of venue size, space compatibility, or additional information about the area, contact us by clicking here. We’d love to chat and help you plan your event here in Miami.

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