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Ant Farm. Miami Museum Garage by WorkAC

Imagen Subliminal

Park your...art: in the Miami Design District a garage becomes a place for exhibitions.

Located in the Miami Design District, the Museum Garage is a colorful seven-stories mixed-use structure, whose concept was developed in 2015 by architect and curator Terence Riley, appointed by Craig Robins, Design District developer. WORKac, J. Mayer H., Clavel Arquitectos, Nicolas Buffe were selected to create the garage's facades, along with Riley's architectural firm K/R (Keenen/ Riley), with Tim Haahs serving as the architect-of-the-record.

The short video by Imagen Subliminal's Miguel de Guzman and Rocio Romero focus on the WORKac's contribution, which faces on the corner of NE 1st Avenue and NE 41stStreet in the Design District, with its pink-and-white oval openings and a playful attitude. For this work, titled Ant Farm, WORKac teamed up with the Berlin-based J. Mayer H.: the name and the shapes used can eventually recall an anthill, but in the sense that here people are valued as individuals building a community. The ant colony-inspired display of human activity, miniaturized public spaces – a garden, a lending library, art space, and playground – and their connecting circulation spaces appear and disappear behind a perforated metal screen that provides visual contrast, shade, and protection, as WORKac explains on its website.

De Guzman+Romero work in the way of playfulness, enhancing the pinks and white hues (especially beautiful in the sunset) and the easygoing attitude of the place - which is certainly quite unusual - moving people up and down the stairs, making them appear and disappear through the openings. The anthill (not the first thing one would associate with a healthy and happy space) thus becomes a place for people. In this sense, the upbeat music helps conveying the feeling of the space. It is quite unusual to think about a garage as a public space - and it must be noted that Imagen Subliminal tries to conceal cars (for which the garage is built) as much as he could, but, still, we have to keep in mind they are there. The place looks pretty much insta-worthy and the video does its best to make let us think (or hope) garages can have more than one use. This needs to be taken in consideration while examining the space: who is built for? Is there a real scenario in which this exist other than being a perfect backdrop for photos? How much videos can shape our idea of such a place? Those are not specific critiques to the project itself (that should be tested in person, plus this is a place where examining videos, more than architecture-for-itself), but Miami Museum Garage is a good example of a trendy space that leaves these questions unanswered and that rises this kind of observations, which are more than crucial in the present times.

The overall project by Terence Riley was inspired by the surrealist parlor game, Exquisite Corpse. "Cadavre Exquis, as the game is known in French, involved a collection of images assembled by various artists with no regard or knowledge of what the other artists have drawn, producing one image whose components don’t necessarily match but flow together as one playful composition" explains a note on the official website of the project. "Under Riley's direction, each participating architect was eventually assigned an area and depth to build out and given free-reign to create fully individual designs. The result is a unique modern, architectural version of the Exquisite Corpse."

(Story by Sara Marzullo, The Architecture Player)


Architect: WORKac
Mentioned project: Miami Museum Garage (2019)
Project location: Miami, Florida, United States
Models: Juan Calvache, Santiago Calvache, Reinaldo Calvache, Maria Camila Constantini, Olive Gelpi, Miles Gelpi, Leticia Neubern, Carina Neubern, Diana Vazquez
Music: The Juanitos - Sambarama

United States 2019
Duration: 2'06"