Art Deco District
More than 800 buildings and structures make up Miami Beach’s Art Deco District, which was the first 20th-century neighborhood recognized by the National Register of Historic Places. Built between 1923 and 1943, buildings such as the Clevelander Hotel, the Delano South Beach, and the Celino Hotel South Beach flaunt the bright colors, intriguing details, and structural features characteristic of the Art Deco style.
Built in 1921 as a furniture showroom, the Moore Building reflects the Miami Design District’s history as a hub for home goods and decor. Today, the historic building serves as a special event venue in the heart of the neighborhood and comprises arcaded spaces and a large central atrium. The site-specific installation “Elastika” stretches between floors and was created by the late architect Zaha Hadid.
The Design District has become a mecca for designer fashion in recent years, and the various labels vie for the most eye-catching buildings. Fendi ranks near the top of the list with its dramatic colonnade by architect Johanna Grawunde, which is orange by day and purple by night. Bonus: The colorful tunnel leads to Marc Quinn’s “Myth Fortuna Sculpture” in the image of supermodel Kate Moss.
The Villa Casa Casuarina
You’ll need a reservation—or friends in high places—to lay your eyes on the lavish interiors of The Villa Casa Casuarina hotel, the former Versace mansion. The Mediterranean Revival-style home was built in 1930, and the late Italian fashion designer Gianni Versace fully customized it in the 1990s. (He was killed outside its front gate.) Aesthetic highlights include the Thousand Mosaic Pool, a star-studded observatory, and upward of 100 medallions portraying famous faces like Julius Caesar and Vladimir Lenin.
The Villa Casa Casuarina
Buckminster Fuller Fly’s Eye Dome
We recommend opting for the underground car park in the Design District just so you can ascend into the geodesic dome above the exit, the Buckminster Fuller Fly’s Eye Dome. The is a replica of the Fly’s Eye Dome designed by architect Buckminster Fuller in 1965; he called it an “autonomous dwelling machine.” When taking your snap, stand facing the blue glass facade of Sou Fujimoto for an appealing backdrop.
Fontainebleau Miami Beach
After it opened in 1954, the Fontainebleau Miami Beach became a glamorous playground for the rich and famous, including Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra, and Marilyn Monroe. And it still draws upscale clientele today. The 20-acre oceanfront property has kept pace with modernity while paying homage to its past by preserving such style elements as the “staircase to nowhere” and the curvilinear facade by original architect Morris Lapidus.
Fontainebleau Miami Beach
You simply must take pictures when visiting the colorful Wynwood Walls. This outdoor museum features a rotating collection of large-scale works of street art in the heart of Wynwood, one of Miami’s hottest neighborhoods. Visit on the second Saturday of the month for Wynwood Art Walk, when the district turns into a fully-fledged party with music, food trucks, and art galleries open until the wee hours (and pouring drinks).
pio3 / Shutterstock
Flotsam & Jetsam
Created for the Design Miami fair in 2016 by SHoP Architects, “Flotsam & Jetsam” is an award-winning art installation and one of the world’s largest 3-D printed objects. It’s made out of a biodegradable bamboo medium. Today, it resides in the Design District’s Jungle Plaza near a large, colorful wall mural of tropical flora and fauna.
Take a rest—and some photos—at “Netscape” in the Design District. In 2010, German designer Konstantin Grcic first created this web of hanging chairs with 24 seats for Design Miami. He intended it to foster social interaction. Later, Craig Robins, the brain behind the Design District, commissioned two versions of “Netscape,” for the Perez Art Museum Miami and the Design District’s Palm Court.
In the Design District, even parking garages get the chance to shine. The seven-story, 800-car Museum Garage comprises diverse facades created by five internationally renowned designers and architects. The concepts include metallic cars in a “vertical traffic jam,” inspired by the movie Inception; a large-scale ant colony; and a cartoon-like mural inspired by both anime and Baroque paintings.
Miguel De Guzman
Perez Art Museum Miami
World-renowned architecture firm Herzog & de Meuron conceived the dramatic Perez Art Museum Miami, which debuted in 2013. The 200,000-square-foot building was designed to bring the outdoors in and to expand over time to meet the needs of the growing museum. The architects also recruited leading landscape architects and horticulturists to incorporate vegetation into the design.
Institute of Contemporary Art Miami
You can’t walk by the new Institute of Contemporary Art Miami without stopping to admire its striking architecture. Opened last December just in time for Art Basel, the 37,500-square-foot building comprises a metallic facade of triangular shapes and perforations by Spanish architecture firm Aranguren + Gallegos Arquitectos. A large plane of glass on the building’s north side provides natural light to the galleries.