Images by Craig Scott, Naho Kubota, and Robin Hill
Text by Monica Uszerowicz
Miami’s Design District has lots of advertisements—for its shops and its spaces and even its very presence—but the best of all are inherent in the neighborhood itself: block-by-block, the whole place feels simultaneously sleek, looming, and intimidatingly clean. It is a district for luxury shopping, first and foremost, but it also serves an assertive, utilitarian function—a landscape-dominating purposefulness that advertises itself through existing.
Now, driving past the neighborhood on I-95, one needs no billboards to spot its location: instead, there is the porous, metallic façade of its parking garage, designed by IwamotoScott and Leong Leong. Together with artist John Baldessari, the three were commissioned by LVMH Real Estate and DACRA to envelope a portion of the building in their own designs.
Leong Leong’s half, on the garage’s western-facing side, features curvilinear shapes that appear to bend and fold out from the building almost preternaturally—like butterfly wings from one angle, leaves from another, shining droplets on crystal from one more. It is a layered, stainless steel structure, jutting out rather gently, which, when juxtaposed to IwamotoScott’s segment of the structure, feel touchable. The latter’s design, on the southeastern façade, is comprised of aluminum-paneled apertures, mirroring each other like patterned constellations and providing ventilation for the garage within. The appearance of folding is employed here, too, as the openings appear to shimmer, depending on the light.