1111 Lincoln Road Parking Garage Turning Heads in Miami Beach

That eye-catching new building in Miami Beach is not an avant garde hotel but a unique twist on the utilitarian parking garage, with retail on the first floor. Officially known as 1111 Lincoln Road, the garage designed by the Swiss architectural firm of Herzog & de Meuron has seven exposed concrete slabs supported – at first glance rather perilously – by tilted concrete columns.  The structure rises 125 feet from its ground-floor retail to a 5,200 SF penthouse with a sloping terrace.  The building was developed by Robert Wennett, who says that the geometrical dimension makes it seem like minimalist art.  “The idea was it should not look or feel like a garage,” Wennett said.

Thanks to the building’s striking architecture, it was featured in “House of Cars:  Innovation and the Parking Garage” exhibition at the National Building Museum in Washington, D.C.  Additional garages in the exhibition were designed by such luminaries as Frank Lloyd Wright, Paul Rudolph and Miami-based Arquitectonica.  Terence Riley, who previously was director of the Miami Art Museum, said the Herzog garage is a “chance to show Miami Beach that important architecture doesn’t have to be Art Deco.”

An interesting aside is found in the 2005 transaction in which Wennett acquired the site, which then was occupied by an office building.  At that time, Miami Beach zooming regulations would have allowed him to construct a 50,000 SF building.  Because parking is so tight in Miami Beach, however, the city doesn’t include the majority of parking spaces in a building’s square footage for zoning purposes.  By adding parking, Wennett significantly increased the building’s square footage and created an impressive structure that is attracting upscale users to its 13 retail and four restaurant spaces.