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The lifeguard towers of Miami Beach

Miami Beach may be best known for its Art Deco architecture but strung along the sand are some brightly coloured structures which play an equally compelling role in the city’s visual identity.

Despite their firmly rooted place in popular culture, the lifeguard towers of Miami are a relatively recent addition. When Hurricane Andrew swept through South Florida in 1992, the scale of the destruction was immense and the previous incarnations of the lifeguard huts were all but destroyed. The City of Miami made a forward-thinking decision to have them redesigned as future icons, with architect William Lane stepping in to design and construct the first new stands, followed by others commissioned by local business owners or as the result of design competitions.

Miami Beach is now home to 31 of these kaleidoscopic towers which lure visiting photographers to the shoreline in droves. Drawing inspiration from a mix of free flowing forms, cartoonish colours and the city’s own brand of Tropical Deco, they continue to make an impression on tourists from around the world. We take a look at some of the quirkiest, most personality-filled huts on the block.

by Maxine Sheppard

Image credits:

Life guard station on South Beach © iStock: dndavis

Miami Beach Lifeguard Station © iStock: ATGImages

Summer scene with a lifeguard house in Miami Beach © iStock: FotoMak

Lifeguard tower in South Beach, Miami © iStock: marchello74

Florida Lifeguard hut © iStock: Alexander Reitter

Miami Lifeguard Hut © iStock: Predrag Vuckovic

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