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Drive-In Theater
HDM's Miami parking deck extends public promenade
1111 Lincoln, the luxury garage designed by Herzog & de Meuron, pulses at twilight.
Nelson Garrido

In many cities, the mix of retail, housing, and parking is a ho-hum development formula, but in South Beach, Swiss architects Herzog & de Meuron have given it a tropical-modernist twist. Rising above Miami’s Art Deco Historic District, the five-story structure includes 300 parking spaces, retail and restaurant space, and Herzog-designed residences, all extending the district’s popular pedestrian promenade.

A pedestrian stair corkscrews through the jagged ramps of the garage.

The story of this audacious programmatic mix started in 2004, when ex-Starwood developer Robert Wennett came across the SunTrust building, a 1970s office structure from Miami’s modern past. Wennett wanted to upgrade the building and add a civic- oriented space with a variety of retail. By including parking, he significantly increased his square footage, as the city does not count most indoor garages for zoning purposes. However, he wanted to avoid the look of a typical parking structure, and by commissioning the Pritzker Prize winners he was able to lure high-end tenants.

The result, 1111 Lincoln Road, is set atop a glass box housing retail and restaurants, with floors in varying heights for different programs—shorter spaces for cars and taller volumes for a fifth-floor retail store as well as spaces for special events. “The garage is an organism made up of a family of concrete slabs, deployed as floor plates, columns, and ramps,” said Christine Binswanger, senior partner at Herzog & de Meuron. Completely open to the elements, the building offers a flood of natural light and panoramic views of the city below.

Though it celebrates automobile culture, the complex extends the pedestrian realm with water gardens and a Dan Graham– designed pavilion adjacent to Lincoln Road, one of the few successful pedestrian streets in the U.S. “We were interested in the opportunity to do something in Miami Beach,” Binswanger explained, “even more since the project was located on a spot on the island where enhancement of public space was clearly a subject.” Configured to house parties, fashion shows, or markets, the building, Binswanger added, “is almost like a continuation of the streetscape.”

Rebecka Gordan