Miami Innovation District Design Intent

The Miami Innovation District comprises an area of approximately 10.4 acres. It is generally bound by NW 12th Street and the I-395 right-of-way to the North, NE Miami Court and NE 1st Avenue to the East, NW 10th Street to the South, and NW 1st Avenue to the West. NW-NE 11th Street and N Miami Avenue are the main thoroughfares within the district, and their intersection is celebrated as a major center of public-space and streetscape improvements within the district.

Several strategies are deployed 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 special areas of intensive use to the north of I-395, and the heart of Downtown Miami.

By generating areas of attraction at this crucial point in the city, connectivity throughout the immediate area will be encouraged.

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 the Miami Innovation District’s public spaces are a critical component of the day-to-day vitality, identity and experience of the district.

Traditional employment campuses with walled perimeters, verdant quads, and single-use buildings may be appropriate for a suburban condition, but the Miami Innovation District’s location in the heart of Miami requires a uniquely urban response.

The offices and creative spaces themselves will play a central role in generating a transformative environment. The key is to counter unwanted workplace isolation by throwing everybody “into the mix” when it will profit the creative process. This can be achieved spatially, by organizing private and semi-public circulation and gathering areas to stimulate interaction across work groups, and to protect spaces for individual concentration. The same principle holds true for visual connections, opening strategic views across different physical levels and programmatic zones throughout the district, to help workers become aware of all the creative possibilities that will surround them here.

The Miami Innovation District will have the greatest asset that a campus could ask for when creating vibrant public spaces: people. Many people will come to and walk through the district’s streetscapes and open spaces. The design approach to tap into this resource through the creation of spaces specifically responsive to the unique architecture, views, climate, and realities to access the potential energy in Miami that is just waiting to be released.

The notion that an innovation campus is a social space is special, and public spaces are where many of the most memorable interactions will happen.

Public spaces are more than just places to see or walk through, but are community places. Therefore, flexibility is the key, for uses like walking, hanging out, exercise, eating food, community events, and unique work place activities that could occur outdoors, like meetings, places to work, team celebrations, and large scale festivities. The Miami Innovation District’s public space design responds to three types of users: the day-to-day staff/business community (during weekdays), the residential community (during nights and weekends), and event-seekers (throughout all seasons).

The design result creates maximum vitality on the streets and plazas.

The public space design also addresses the issue of memory and identity. What is the post card image here that makes the Miami Innovation District a regional “wow?” At a different scale, what are the small scale sensory or seasonal aspects that make the campus a beautiful experience? The public space design at the Miami Innovation District creates places with strong narrative, so that every visit feels inspiring and delightful.