In 2010, a Herzog & de Meuron-designed car park opened at the western end of Lincoln Road in Miami Beach. Unlike the purely functional, sterile design of most garages, it features crooked, concrete pillars and a lot of open air. The Swiss architects didn’t just design a flexible and unusual parking lot, though: it also contains what I suspect to be a massive loft with an incredible garden on top, and several exclusive shops and restaurants. What you’ll usually see in photographs of this 300-car parking lot is its outside. It is striking, I’ll grant you that – parking lots are not usually interesting architecturally – but I find the view from the (almost) top to be more captivating. You don’t have to park your car; just hop in the elevator and get off at the 6th floor.
No level at 1111 Lincoln Road seems to be the same height. This is evident in the elevator already, where you hear the beeping sound for each floor at irregular intervals. You’ll also notice this fact when exiting the elevator and looking down to the next floor. See how much more air the cars on our floor get?
First, look up – you’ll see signs of the lush garden that belongs to the lucky people in the aforementioned penthouse.
Then look around – the view is stunning. You’ll see art deco hotels on the beach, parts of the downtown skyline, a ton of palm trees and the chaotic Miami traffic. Another thing you’ll realise while standing up there and taking the city in is that 1111 Lincoln Road complements Miami well: they’re both subtly playful, surprising, in-your-face showy and kind of naked – or, as Jacques Herzog said himself: all muscle and no clothes.