A colourful solution

Nick Myall
Thursday 17 Nov 2016

With a tradition of street art in this area of Miami, DFA have responded by incorporating vibrant colour into this adaptive re-use project

In Miami, Florida, DFA have transformed three side-by-side warehouses into a single dynamic destination for dining and shopping. Studying existing site-circulation, the architects determined that the long blocks of Wynwood could be better connected using diagonal desire lines cutting through the site. They proposed a series of shaded, retail-activated streets organised along existing desire lines.

The four diagonal streets meet in the central trapezoidal atrium open to the sky. A grand public stair fills one side of the atrium, acting as a hangout and providing an organic way to discover the rooftop restaurant. A large canopied seagrape tree and three smaller trees in the atrium provide shade for seating at the stair.

No building in Wynwood can ignore the enormous street art tradition of the neighbourhood. At the Wynwood Arcades, rather than creating a neutral canvas for street art, DFA created an architecture in dialogue with art. The artist Tristan Eaton’s piece responded to DFA’s diagonal, playful facades with his own dynamic graphic intervention.

In creating a diagonal plan to be imposed upon the rectilinear industrial warehouses with their precast double T-profile roofs, DFA was willfully quixotic. A building that was previously simple, efficient and industrial is dissected in its renovation and becomes unpredictable and dynamic. This untraditional approach to adaptive re-use means the building as discovered from the street is unlike any other retail experience in Wynwood and perhaps all of Miami.

DFA has also recently announced that their design for the newly opened Wynwood Arcade in Miami, Florida has been awarded the AIA Merit Award of Excellence for Architecture.

WAN Colour in Architecture Award 2016 now open. For more information contact:


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Nick Myall

News editor

Key Facts:

United States
Commercial Retail

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