|Photo © Marcelo Aniello
Rene Gonzalez, AIA, holds a Master of Architecture degree from UCLA and a Bachelor of Design degree from the University of Florida. He founded Miami-based Rene Gonzalez Architects in 1998. The firm’s portfolio includes everything from residential and commercial office spaces to work for cultural institutions, including the Miami Art Museum and the Wolfsonian.
Best New Architecture
Biscayne Boulevard Sidewalk — Roberto Burle-Marx
“The urban garden created by the exhilarating patterns of the new sidewalks designed by the Brazilian landscape architect, Roberto Burle-Marx, is dynamic and unifying. The design spatially ties together nearly two miles of Biscayne Boulevard creating a memorable and highly identifiable Miami episode.”
The Cisneros Fontanals Art Foundation — Rene Gonzalez Architects
“Miami is still a very young city that tempts visionaries to develop projects in neglected urban areas. Ella Cisneros is one of these visionaries. In 2005, she commissioned us to convert a tired warehouse space built in 1936 into a home for the CIFO (Cisneros Fontanals Art Foundation).
The DASH Fence — Marc Newson
“The new fence at Design and Architecture High School (DASH), designed by Marc Newson, is kinetic. Its beautifully articulated metal slats create patterns that subtly move as one walks down the sidewalk. Commissioned by Craig Robbins and Ambra Medda, cofounders of Design Miami, the fence creates a poetic experience in the Miami Design district.”
The Fairchild Tropical Gardens — Raymond Jungles
“Recently renovated by landscape architect Raymond Jungles, the Fairchild Tropical Gardens is a well orchestrated series of garden spaces and water elements that are defined by tropical trees and palms. The plant material is like watching a firework display of bold colors, repetitive patterns, and complex structures—tropical design at it’s best!”
Best Historic Architecture
The Bacardi Building — Enrique Gutierrez
“The Bacardi building represents the free spirit and optimism that Miami buildings should strive for.”
Best “Off-the-Beaten-Path” Architecture
The Apallatah Shopping District
“For a blast of inspiration and multicultural commercialism at its best, drive this strip of discount stores along 20th Street (between 17th and 27th Avenues) interestingly also known as “Orlando Urra Boulevard” or “Avenue of the Americas.” Independently the shops are an eye sore, but together, they are inspirational and culturally loaded. Stop at the Camel Café on 22nd Avenue for a batido and pastelito.
“Jimbo’s is a series of shacks, some completely deteriorated, some barely standing, that were built literally a few feet from Biscayne Bay and the mangroves. You can arrive by car or by boat to a place where you can relax, eat smoked fish, drink beer and play bocce ball. It is a remnant of old Florida. It’s a place full of spaces, sounds, and smells that will always resonate in your memory as uniquely Miami.”
Best Museums and Galleries
The Wolfsonian - Florida International University
“The Wolfsonian shows the persuasive power that design and architecture has on society. The historic buildingwas renovated into a sophisticated, seamless, and quietly articulated museum facility—with unparalleled, thoughtfully curated design exhibitions—in 1995 by Mark Hampton, FAIA.”