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In Miami, Even The Parking Garages Are Sexy

Museum Garage in Miami was designed by five architects and will hold 800 cars.

Miami is serious about its parking garages.

On Miami Beach, one such structure designed by Herzog & De Meuron is so fancy that people hold weddings atop it. When South Beach needed a garage at Collins Park, famed architect Zaha Hadid, who died in 2016, went to work designing it (although it won't get built due to costs). At Porsche Design Tower, residents can take their cars up the elevator and drive right into their units. Now, another eye-popping parking garage is set to open in the Design District. 

On the edge of Miami's downtown, developer Craig Robins has spent the last decade revamping a gritty area around a highway overpass, recruiting a Hermes, a Gucci and other extremely high-end stores, transforming it into the Design District. 

The work of three designers — Nicolas Buffe, Clavel Arquitectos and Keenen/Riley — can be seen on one side of Museum Garage in Miami.

The district needed a garage at the corner of Northeast First Avenue and 41st Street. The structure was designed and engineered by Miami-based Tim Haahs — it is seven stories and can hold 800 cars. But for the facade, Robins commissioned architect and curator Terence Riley to do something major.  

Riley thought of the old parlor game Exquisite Corpse, played by French surrealist artists. They would pass around a paper, one artist after another taking a turn to draw without looking at the bit the prior artist had just drawn. When revealed, the final image would be a mishmash, but fun and surprising

Riley used his own firm (Keenen/Riley) and four others architects from around the world, giving each a section of the parking garage to design. 

"Ant Farm" interlocks with "XOX (Hugs and Kisses)" on Miami's Museum Garage.

New York firm WORKac's facade, titled “Ant Farm,” includes a panel by New York artist Jamian Juliano-Villani and recalls the way ants and people both circulate as they travel. J.MAYER.H.’s facade, titled “XOX (Hugs and Kisses),” resembles interlocking puzzle pieces.

“Serious Play" by French artist Nicolas Buffe juxtaposes anime and manga with Rococo and Baroque architecture. Spanish firm Clavel Arquitectos’ “Urban Jam” uses 45 metallic gold and silver car bodies, as though caught in a traffic jam on the side of the building. Barricades, a bright orange work designed by Riley's own firm, is a play on Miami's ever-present traffic barriers.

The garage is set to open at the end of April. Bring your selfie stick.