5 Architects Designed 5 Facades for Miami’s Wild ‘Museum Garage’

Apparently, Miami is hellbent on being home to all of the world’s coolest parking garages. It’s already famous for 1111 Lincoln Road, a landmark gem by Swiss firm Herzog de Meuron that hosts fashion shows, music videos, orchestral performances and interactive art installations in addition to parked vehicles. Arquitectonica’s Ballet Valet garage is world-renowned for its lush greenery. Then there’s the City View Garage in Miami’s Design District, which boasts four different designs on each of its four facades.

Now, a facility that looked a little too wacky to be real in its initial renderings is complete, and it’s really something else.

“Ant Farm” by WORKac – Inspired by the shape of an ant colony, the structure features spaces that connect, yet appear and disappear behind a perforated metal screen. This façade also includes “Dippin,” a street art panel by New York artist Jamian Juliano-Villani.
“XOX (Hugs and Kisses)” by J.MAYER.H. – Gigantic interlocking puzzle pieces nestle at the corner with the forms of WORKac’s façade. “

Just two blocks away from the City View Garage, the new Museum Garage is open after two years of planning and construction. Five architecture and design firms designed five radically different facades for the structure: Nicolas Buffe, Clavel Aquitectos, J. Mayer H., WORKac and Keenan/Riley. Standing seven stories tall and capable of holding 800 cars, the surrealist garage is a colorful mashup of shapes and styles.

“Serious Play” by Nicolas Buffe – The actual entrance and exit to the parking garage this facade features a variety of diverse 2D and 3D elements crafted from laser-cut metals and fiber resin plastic.

Architect Terence Riley ‘curated’ the facade designs for DACRA and LVMH, and says he describes the impact of the garage as “a bucket of cold water.” It’s shocking, but also refreshing, especially in steamy South Florida. A sense of a cohesive whole wasn’t really a priority – each of the five designers worked on their individual segments without seeing what others were creating.

“Urban Jam” by Clavel Arquitectos – Fitting for a garage, this facade features shiney metalic gold and silver car bodies, to represent the revival of the Miami Design District and how spaces, like the cars, have been repurposed.

Riley says he drew inspiration from an old Surrealist parlor game called Exquisite Corpse, in which one artist draws a head on a piece of paper, folds it to hide what they’ve drawn and passes it to the next artist to draw another segment of the body. Nobody sees it as a whole until the final part is complete.

“Barricades” by K/R – The design is inspired by orange- and white-striped traffic barriers that are ever present in Miami. The façade has fifteen “windows” framed in mirror stainless steel, through which concrete planters pop out above the sidewalk.

The garage is located on the corner of NE 1st Avenue and NE 41st Street. In addition to offering public parking at a reasonable rate of $3 for 4 hours, the facility includes mixed-use spaces on the ground level. Fittingly, it faces the new Institute of Contemporary Art Miami.

Captions via the Miami Design District