Museum Garage

J. MAYER H. und Partner, Clavel Arquitectos, WORKac, K/R Architecture

© Imagen Subliminal

The Museum Garage is located in the Miami Design District, a neighborhood dedicated to innovative art, design, and architecture. Featuring the work of five designers, the seven story mixed-use structure features ground floor retail spaces and capacity for 924 vehicles.

Ant Farm

At the corner of NE 1st Avenue and NE 41st Street in the Design District, the work of the New York firm WORKac meets that of Berlin-based J. Mayer H. WORKac’s facade titled Ant Farm – faces 1st Avenue and celebrates social interaction, sustainability, art, music, and the landscape.

In an ant colony-inspired display of human activity, miniaturized public spaces –a garden, a lending library, art space, and playground– and their connecting circulation spaces appear and disappear behind a perforated metal screen that provides visual contrast, shade, and protection.

Hugs and Kisses
J. Mayer H.

J. Mayer H.’s facade titled XOX (Hugs and Kisses) appears as gigantic interlocking puzzle pieces that nestle at the corner with the forms of WORKac’s facade. XOX then extends westward from the corner along 41st Street. XOX’s enigmatic forms, emblazoned with striping and bright colors, recall the aerodynamic forms of automotive design and appear to float above the sidewalk below. Smaller volumes, covered in metal screens project outward and are activated with embedded light at night.

Serious Play
Nicolas Buffe

The next facade along 41st Street serves as the entrance and exit of the garage. It is the work of Nicolas Buffe, a French-born artist living in Japan, and is constructed with a dark perforated metal backdrop. The facade features a variety of diverse 2D and 3D elements crafted from laser-cut metals and fiber resin plastic.

At street level, the facade’s features four 23-foot tall, full 3D caryatids standing astride the garage’s arched entrance and exits. Like the caryatids below, the composition above reflects Buffe’s childhood passion for video games and Japanese animation. The result is the unexpected juxtaposition of anime, tokusatsu, and manga with Buffe’s other passion – Rococo and Baroque architecture.

Urban Jam
Clavel Arquitectos

In the space between Nicolas Buffe’s facade and that of K/R, Spanish firm Clavel Arquitectos’s 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.

Urban Jam suggests a similar “repurposing” of very familiar elements, using 36 gravity defying car bodies rendered in metallic gold and silver. In effect, the styles of years past gain a second life as lux sculptural objects, caught in a surreal vertical traffic jam.


Furthest west on 41st Street, just opposite the Institute of Contemporary Art, is Barricades, designed by New York, and Miami-based K/R. The design is inspired by Miami’s automotive landscape; particularly it’s ubiquitous orange and white-striped traffic barriers. In this case, the faux-barriers are turned right side up and form a brightly colored screen. The facade has fifteen ‘windows’ framed in mirror stainless steel, through which concrete planters pop out above the sidewalk.