Great Architecture in the Miami Design District
One of the highlights of our upcoming Miami workshop is definitely the Miami Design District. Located north of the city center, it’s an outdoor shopping center with luxury brands. What makes it unique is the care that was given to the design and architecture of most of the buildings and store in the district. It is enjoyable to walk through and to photograph! So let’s do a little tour of the various buildings that are interesting to photograph.
First, right by Interstate 195, is the City View Garage (Leong Leong and Iwamoto Scott). It doesn’t look like your usual parking garage, because the facade was designed with beautiful sculptural elements. On the west side, you can find gold fins that provide endless abstract compositions depending on the light and how close or far you are to the building.
On the east side of the building, you can find these blue triangular patterns:
Just across the street, you can find the whimsical, 3D-printed Floatsam and Jetsam sculptures (SHoP Architects). Play with the curves and the shadows to create fun compositions!
If you head a bit further east, you’ll find a beautiful courtyard with Buckminster Fuller’s Fly Eye’s Dome surrounded by palm trees. The exterior is good to photograph, but don’t forget to get inside and down the staircase, which has some great angles looking up!
If you continue your journey north, you’ll find two stores with interesting white facades. First, on your right, the minimalist cladding of Dior has some great detail shots:
Then, on your left, you’ll find Louis Vuitton and its playful patterns and reflections:
From there, if you head west on NE 39th Street, you’ll encounter Tom Ford and its complex facade. Use the lines and patterns to your advantage. If you’re there at the right time of day, you can also use shadows in your compositions.
Two block north on NE 1st Avenue, you’ll find another parking garage, Museum Garage. Make sure you walk around the whole building, as the facade changes multiple times. It’s a collaborative design by WORKac, Nicolas Buffe, Clavel Arquitectos, K/R and J. MAYER. H., with each firm designing a section of the facade.
On the north side of Museum Garage is Miami’s Institute of Contemporary Art (Aranguren & Gallegos Architects). The diamond pattern of the facade is great for abstracts and the metal cladding looks different depending on the light.
Walk east on NE 41st street to find the Rick Owens store. Its brutalist facade had some interesting patterns that are great for architectural shots. If you have sunlight, the trees create some beautiful shadows as well.
If you keep walking east, you’ll find a courtyard on the north side of the street, with multiple areas to shoot. Make sure you go to the second level and wander to find interesting shots.
From the courtyard, head south on the pedestrian walkway between the stores. There are several structures providing shade, all part of Nuage Promenade (Ronan & Erwan Bouroullec). Zoom in on the canopies to isolate details, and use interesting backgrounds to complement the pattern of the structures.
Our final stop is the Dash Fence (Marc Newson), at the Design and Architecture High School, at the intersection of NE 2nd Avenue and NE 40th Street. When you look at the fence straight on, it doesn’t seem like much, as you can see through. But get closer, and you’ll start to see the waves of the fins.
As you can see, there’s a lot to photograph in the Miami Design District, and it’s a great place to experience overall. If you’re interested in exploring the district, check out our workshop next February!