Best Renovation (1999)

Kenann Building

When acclaimed South Florida architect Dan C. Duckham took on the project in the early '90s, the Kenann Building was in shameful disrepair. The big, round tower -- built in the early '60s and known to locals as "the spaceship building" -- had long been neglected, and except for the inexplicably well-preserved tropical mural on the huge panel jutting from its east side, the structure seemed a lost cause. Duckham gutted the building and then set about restoring it to its former glory, working from original architect Lou Wolf's plans and adding touches of his own, such as the steel piping on the roof and sides of the cylinder. Later, when the owner decided to add a restaurant/dance club to the side of the building's lower floors, Duckham was again brought in to ensure that the addition stayed true to the Kenann's distinctive character. As the restaurant, Hot Chocolates, has settled in over the past year or so, the renovation is more or less complete, although Duckham is still waiting for the plants he installed near the top of the building to spill over the edge as planned. Otherwise the details are all but perfect, from the gleaming metallic tiles and mirrored surfaces to the neon tubing along the rim to the circles and curves that repeat again and again in this wonderfully whimsical building.

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