Art Deco to Med-Rev: Exploring Miami’s Architectural Styles

When you think of buildings in Miami, what images come to mind?

Do you immediately see the pastel-colored hotels on Ocean Drive? Or what about the palm tree-lined, Mediterranean-inspired mansions of Star Island?

While these iconic styles are important, it turns out there is much more to Miami’s architectural scene than meets the eye… A recent CNN article even went as far as to say Miami is “rapidly becoming the architecture capital of America.”

In this article, our team is exploring some of Miami’s most important styles, buildings, and architects.

Your exploration shouldn’t end with this article, however! Go out, take a drive, and explore the buildings for yourself! At the end of each section, you’ll find a suggested list of buildings that best exemplify that particular style.

MiMo

Pronounced “My-Mo” and short for “Miami Modern,” this style of architecture combines the look of “The Jetsons” with palm trees, pools, futuristic boomerangs, asymmetrical shapes, decorative block walls, and kidney-bean curves.

The majority of the treasured MiMo buildings can be found along Biscayne Boulevard from 50th to 77th St. Must see landmarks include the recently restored Vagabond Motel, the Bacardi Building, the Lido Spa Hotel, and the Fontainebleau Hotel in Miami Beach.

Miami’s Historic Biscayne Boulevard is Back Again: http://www.miamiandbeaches.com/featured-articles/mimo-magic-historic-biscayne-boulevard

Miami Modern Architecture: http://www.mimoonthebeach.com/pdfs/MiMoTutorial.pdf

Mediterranean Revival

Think arches, stone columns, red tile roofs, stucco walls, ceramic and terra cotta decorations, and more. Built largely in the Boom of the 1920s and based on Italian, Spanish, and Moorish themes, this style can be found everywhere in Miami. Some of the most popular examples include the Miami Biltmore Hotel, Freedom Tower, the Gianni Versace Mansion, and Coral Gables City Hall.

Unlike other styles, Mediterranean Revival isn’t primarily limited to hotels, government buildings, and public spaces. Beautiful Med-Rev houses can be found scattered among Miami’s exclusive areas like Key Biscayne and Coral Gables as well as throughout quieter neighborhoods such as the Roads and Buena Vista.

Med-Rev Historic Preservation: http://www.historicpreservationmiami.com/mediterranean.html

Art Deco

A discussion of Miami architecture would not be complete without Art Deco. Miami is home to the world’s largest collection of Art Deco Architecture, the majority of which can be found in the Art Deco Historic District.

In addition to bright-colored exteriors, chrome accents, porthole windows, 1930’s Doors, geometric fountains, and statues, Art Deco design also centers on whimsical interior motifs including exotic flora, fauna, and decor.

The Ten Best Art Deco Buildings in Miami Beach: http://www.miaminewtimes.com/arts/the-ten-best-art-deco-buildings-in-miami-beach-6517806

Modern

As some of the world’s most famous “starchitects” descend upon Miami, our skyline is rapidly transforming with glass towers, abstract performance halls, and beautifully-designed museums.

A few noteworthy examples include:

  • Pérez Art Museum Miami — Herzog & de Meuron
  • One Thousand Museum — Zaha Hadid
  • New World Center — Frank Ghery
  • The Grove at Grand Bay — Bjarke Ingels
  • Faena House — Foster + Partners

Miami Architectural Guide: http://www.miamiandbeaches.com/featured-articles/miamis-architectural-guide

Want to explore architectural styles for your own new home? We’re happy to help! Please get in touch with one of our knowledgeable team members who can guide you: sales@spectrumrg.com or (305) 921-0972.