One of Florida’s most popular destinations continues to display its personality through the faces of its many neighbourhoods. The newest is the Miami Design District, a perfect creation and work in progress!
Little Havana is characterized by the bright colours of Cuba, while South Beach has its art deco vibe. And then there is the Miami Design District, or MDD for those in the know, with its obvious glam factor. The ultimate high-end destination for shopping and dining, the area is also the epicentre of all types of creativity. While visitors may initially be attracted to upscale stores like Chanel or the delicacies of a popular new chef, public art is actually what brings people to the streets, looking for bold urban artworks and other installations. What to see first? Where to start?
Encompassing twenty blocks or so, the district boasts two dozen works of public art and seven murals. And this does not include the facades of commercial buildings, including fashion boutiques, with eye-catching architectural designs!
Good to know: most attractions are concentrated in the area bordered by NE 2nd Avenue and North Miami Avenue, east to west, and by NE 42nd Street and NE 38th Street, north to south. A good place to begin your journey is at Palm Court, a huge pedestrian plaza lined by luxury brands, which is home to the sculpture Fly’s Eye Dome. One of the district’s iconic works, it is inspired by the work of futurist architect Richard Buckminster Fuller, who also designed Montréal’s Biosphere for Expo 67. Evoking a waterfall, the blue glass facade created by Sou Fujimoto Architects is equally stunning.
SURPRISES IN STORE
Several blocks away, the gigantic murals adorning the Museum Garage are worth a visit. Another must-see is Elastika, the site-specific installation in the Moore Building created by architect Zaha Hadid. Just down the block from the Institute of Contemporary Art, Miami, an immense gallery houses the impressive de La Cruz Collection, where annual exhibitions of eclectic works (from artists like Salvador
Since all this sightseeing can give one an appetite, the next stop might be one of the district’s trendy restos: Pura Vida, for healthy options; Michelin-starred Korean steakhouse, Cote; Italian restaurant Swan; or perhaps a safe bet like L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon or Le Jardinier (helmed by Alain Verzeroli, a protege of the celebrated French chef), where the menu focusses on fresh, local vegetables.
And if you are enjoying the MDD so much you would like to stay, why not book a room at the W South Beach, a hotel in nearby in Miami Beach? A perfect choice for a trip devoted to creativity!
Cover Image:Aerial view of Palm Court and
the sculpture Fly’s Eye Dome.
IF THESE WALLS COULD TALK…
Adjacent to the Miami Design District, the Wynwood Arts District is home to the Wynwood Walls, an immense outdoor museum devoted to international street art. Located in a former warehouse district, the Wynwood Walls invites painters, muralists, and graffiti artists to create gigantic murals on buildings within a defined perimeter. Since its launch in 2009, this urban renewal project has welcomed hundreds of artists from some 16 countries to make these walls talk! One note: a visit to the Margulies Collection at the Warehouse, which contains some 4,000 works from the collection of renowned collector Martin Z. Margulies, is an absolute must.