Archaic And Yet Specific: Herzog & de Meuron’s New Pérez Art Museum in Miami

Markus Breitschmid

Pérez Art Museum, Miami, Florida (USA), 2013

The new Pérez Art Museum in Miami is an architectural response to the climatic conditions of its site: volumes and platforms are playfully assembled beneath a dramatically wide cantilevered textile-like roof that spans the generous veranda and its hanging gardens. The created microclimates shelter the building from the harsh climatic conditions.

The building is simultaneously showplace and stage for visitors: the view from the platforms and the manifold exhibition rooms shifts from the shimmering surface of the water of the lagoon to the gigantic cruise ships, to the opulent park, and upwards towards the blue sky. Together with the otherwise pulsating life of Miami’s inhabitants an almost surrealist landscape emerges.

Architects Herzog & de Meuron have not only built a museum that is befitting to its surroundings with regard to climatic conditions and societal customs, but their exhibition concept of “anchor rooms” also challenges the norm of a museum consisting as a series of “white cubes.”



Portrait (Breitschmid)Dr. Markus Breitschmid is an internationally active theorist of architecture and author whose books and essays on modern and postmodern architecture have been published in various languages including Chinese, English, German, Italian, Japanese, and Spanish. He is a professor of architecture at Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University’s School of Architecture + Design in Blacksburg, Virginia and Alexandria, Virginia. He has lectured at many universities, professional associations and museums in the Americas, Asia, and Europe.