Following over two years of planning and construction, the Miami Design District is opening the long-awaited Museum Garage. The eclectic complex is located just two blocks from IwamatoScott’s City View Garage, another high design parking facility in the multi-acre retail and cultural neighborhood. The garage’s animated, wildly varied facades are designed by five architecture and design firms: WORKac, J. Mayer H., Clavel Arquitectos, Nicolas Buffe and Keenan/Riley.
Located on the northern border of the Miami Design District, the 800-car-capacity Museum Garage is seven stories tall, rising from a ground floor entirely devoted to retail.
Terence Riley, of Keenan/Riley, led the concept of the ambitious project, which drew from Exquisite Corpse, a surrealist parlor game that entails the collaging of images by different authors independent of each other’s designs. In the spirit of the game, each firm designed an individual and radically different facade as disparate and unconnected pieces, creating a multifaceted tapestry for the utilitarian structure.
Emphasizing the cultural purposes of Museum Garage and the Miami Design District as a whole, each facade is titled as a standalone curatorial work.
Ant Farm, WORKac’s contribution to the project, is inspired by the maze-like layout of an ant colony, replete with circulation corridors that are obscured by a perforated metal screen. The bends and folds of the elevation are habitable spaces, public spheres provided with shade and protection from Miami’s subtropical environment.
J. Mayer. H, a Berlin-based firm, designed XOX (Hugs and Kisses), which is composed of large puzzle pieces adorned with stripes and bright colors.
Nicolas Buffe’s contribution, Serious Play, features a diverse range of 2-D and 3-D details formed from plastic and laser-cut metals. Buffe mixes historicist elements such as 23-foot-tall caryatids with cartoonish graphics.
Urban Jam by Spanish-firm Clavel Arquitectos is dominated by forty-five gold and silver car bodies that cling to the elevation. Stacked atop each other, the cars are made to resemble a vertical traffic jam.
Keenan/Riley’s Barricades draws upon common orange and white traffic barriers to create a brightly colored screen wall that is studded with fifteen windows framed with stainless steel.
British firm Speirs + Major designed custom lighting for each façade, highlighting diverse architectural elements across the graduated and uneven elevations.