Leong Leong Facade, Miami Design District City View Garage

Part of a sweeping development of the Buena Vista neighborhood in Miami envisioned by Craig Robins of Dacra, the Western facade for the City View Garage was designed by Leong Leong for Miami Design District, conceived by office director Christopher Leong.

The Miami City View Garage is a parking structure which brought together three unique facades all under one roof. Working with Brad Giresi and Vernon Jones of Tim Haas Architects + Engineers, the three facade teams are: Leong Leong (featured here), artist John Baldessari, and IwamotoScott Architects. The teams met with Zahner and developed architectural models and mockups before moving into production. Each facade had its own design challenges, which is where Zahner's engineering and fabrication team played a technical role.

A surface that simultaneously radiates and dissolves.

Chris Leong Founding Partner at Leong Leong

From inside the garage, the wave-like shapes of the openings create a patterned view of the city. The openings in the facade maintain natural light and ventilation in the parking structure. The pattern of openings transforms this functional requirement into an iconic urban object.

The prominent location of the City View Garage on the periphery of the Design District neighborhood and its adjacency to the I-195 freeway marks the building as a prominent landmark. From the freeway, the western façade appears as a shimmering mirage. At street level, folded fins generate textures that echo the forms of surrounding palms.

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Leong Leong facade for the Miami City View Garage.
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Leong Leong facade for the Miami City View Garage.

Developing the Design with architects at Leong Leong

Zahner worked with Leong Leong from the early stages of the project, making visits to their New York City office, as well as providing a Design Assist phase to properly detail the facade system. The process yielded multiple mockups, including a full-scale elevated mockup at the Kansas City facility.

The surface is composed of curvilinear shapes, punched and bent out of gold-colored, titanium-coated stainless steel. From a distance, they produce a texture that mimics the shimmering patterns of light on the surface of water. The variegated pattern absorbs the qualities of the environment and disrupts the legibility of the form.

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From left: Lisa Iwamoto, Chris Leong, Brad Giresi, Bill Zahner, look at material samples in the Zahner library.
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First mockup for the Leong Leong facade at Miami City View Garage.
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The design team views the mockup for Miami City View Garage for the first time.
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Leong Leong facade installed for the Miami City View Garage.
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Leong Leong facade for the Miami City View Garage.
Leong leong perforated facade
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Leong Leong facade for the Miami City View Garage.