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Miami Museum Garage is a mash-up of bold eclectic styles

Miami Museum Garage is a mash-up of bold eclectic styles: it combines several exterior design.

Five architecture studios have contributed to this project in Miami Design District. The seven-storey cast-concrete building, known as Museum Garage, was designed and engineered by Miami studio Tim Haahs with project manager Javier Sánchez.

It is located at the intersection of NE First Avenue and NE 41st Street in the neighbourhood dedicated to innovative art, design and architecture, not far from another unusual parking garage.

Museum Garage is notable for the colourful contrasting sections across its exterior. Developer Craig Robins – who spearheaded the creation of the design district, north of downtown Miami – commissioned Terence Riley of Keenen/Riley (K/R) to come up with a bold facade treatment for the structure to make it stand out.

Riley, in turn, asked a handful of designers to create portions of the exterior. Across the facade are motifs by five international studios: WORKacJ Mayer H, Clavel Arquitectos, Nicolas Buffe and K/R itself.

Riley took the idea for the unorthodox exterior from various sources, including the surrealist parlour game Exquisite Corpse.

“Cadavre Exquis, as the game is known in French, involved a collection of images assembled by various artists with no knowledge of what the other artists have drawn, producing one image whose components don’t necessarily match but flow together as one playful composition,” said the architect in a statement.

Each of the five designers was virtually given free reign to build out their portion of space, without much consideration for one another’s creations.

K/R also designed Barricade, an orange and white patterned portion that takes cues from traffic barriers in the US. The facade, made from stainless steel and concrete, faces the Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA), a metal-faced building by Aranguren + Gallegos.

Berlin design practice J Mayer H created a facade titled XOX (Hugs and Kisses), which stretches across a corner section and comprises a gigantic interlocking design. Pieces include spaced-out volumes of red and blue stripes, with other sections covered in white metal screens to evoke puzzle pieces.
Attached to another section is Urban Jam, a grid of 45 metallic cars coloured gold and silver by Spanish firm Clavel Arquitectos. “Urban Jam draws from the rebirth of urban life in the Miami Design District – where old structures and discarded spaces have been revived by architectural and urban designs,” the architects said a statement.

French artist Nicolas Buffe referenced Japanese anime for his black and white illustrations along 41st Street. His intricate images in laser-cut metal and fibre-resin plastic feature elephants, gargoyles and caryatids, stone carvings of draped figures used as pillars for Greek Revival buildings. Four 23-foot-tall sculptures stand at the entrance and exit of the garage.

Retail spaces cluster on the building’s ground floor, while other public spaces include a garden, lending library, art space and playground. The garage itself has capacity for 800 vehicles.

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