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The Perez Art Museum

The new Pérez Art Museum Miami (PAMM) is located in Museum Park, part of the redeveloping downtown waterfront on Biscayne Bay. Its direct neighbours are the Patricia and Phillip Frost Museum of Science and a major freeway, connecting mainland Miami with Miami Beach. Simultaneously oriented towards the park, the water and the city, the new PAMM is an open and inviting structure from all sides alike.


Miami is known for its iconic art deco district, decorated boxes with no great relationship and exchange between inside and outside. What makes Miami so extraordinary however, is its amazing climate, lush vegetation and cultural diversity. How can these assets be fully exploited and translated into architecture?


Nature


As in previous examples of our work, such as the Dominus Winery in Napa Valley, the building’s environmental circumstances become central to its architectural concept. Due to its proximity to the water, the museum is lifted off the ground for the art to be placed above storm surge level. We use the space underneath the building for open-air parking, exposed to light and fresh air thatcanalso handle storm-water runoff. Rising from the parking level, the stilts supporting the museum platform become columns supporting a shading canopy, which covers the entire site creating a veranda-like public space that welcomes visitors to the museum and the park. Facing the bay, a wide stair connects the platform to the waterfront promenade.


In this exceptional location, we wanted the museum to offer generous views to the outside. Yet all the building’s expansive windows are recessed, with wooden planks under the concrete beams to minimize the sun’s impact on the glazing and to reduce the building’s energy consumption for cooling. Tropical plants selected for their resilience to the local conditions engulf the structural system. Roof and plants combined will create an overall microclimate reducing the extreme temperature gaps between outside and inside in the hot weather. The exterior surface of the museum’s massive concrete walls is chiseled in places and polished in others. When adjacent to the glazing, the concrete is smooth and reflective. When facing the outside, the concrete becomes rough, exposing its natural ingredients.


Specificity


The spaces at PAMM and their materiality are very specific. They can be considered an antithesis to the flexible, abstract white cubes that have been a dogma in most recently built art spaces. Concrete and wood are used in different combinations, reflecting the outside materials of the building. Typical drywalls are detailed in a way that they are legible as added to the main structure. In order to enhance the inside-out transition, we designed a customized concrete mullion system that holds the largest ever-used hurricane-proof glass in Florida.


For more info visit ArchDaily, Perez Art Museum / Herzog & de Meuron