Miami Innovation District
2014 ongoing, Miami, Florida, USA
On an approximately 10-acre, four-block area in Miami’s Park West neighborhood, the team of SHoP Architects and West 8, led by noted developer Michael Simkins, is proposing a new special-use district that will provide the infrastructure for the future growth of creative technology industries in the city.
The district is conceived as an urban campus, an integrated complex of mutually-supportive programs including public amenities, targeted retail opportunities, indoor and outdoor spaces for community and campus gathering, performance and exhibition zones, office environments suited to the collaborative work typical of high-performing tech companies, and a variety of housing designed specifically for the generation that will be drawn to work for such companies.
West 8’s design for the public space employs several strategies to meet the district’s goal of providing active, vital streets and an activated ground plane. Foremost among them is to promote a hierarchy of gateway streets to encourage pedestrian and vehicular connectivity through the district, between neighborhoods and areas of intensive use north of I-395, and in the city center. In the east/west direction, a network of wide, walkable streets promote pedestrian flows between Museum Park and the Overtown neighborhood. Each corridor in the district retains a distinct character and range of experiences highlighted by variations in scale, landscape, materiality, and function.
The design of Miami Innovation District’s (MID) public spaces are a critical component of the day-to-day vitality, identity, and experience of the District. Lots of people will come and walk through MID’s streetscapes and open spaces. West 8’s design approach taps into this resource by creating spaces specifically responsive to the unique context, architecture, views and climate in order to reinvigorate the district. It responds to three types of users: the day-to-day staff/business community (during weekdays), the residential community (during evenings and weekends), and event-seekers (year-round), to create maximum vitality in the public realm. Establishing a strong narrative and ensuring every visit is both inspiring and delightful.