In 2011, real estate companies DACRA and LRE (LVMH) appointed Island Planning Corporation (IPC) to design the Landscape Masterplan for the Miami Design District. The intention behind the District’s redevelopment was to create a unique luxury retail hub where design meets exterior art within a unique botanical park-like environment. IPC’s landscape, inspired by the most elegant and timeless neighborhoods in the world, establishes a sophisticated visual continuity throughout the district with mature canopy-covered streets and walkways, sculptural specimen trees and extensive rooftop gardens.
This diverse arboreal mosaic creates intimacy under a cool, dappled shade while facilitating the circulation of visitors and unveiling storefront facades through an elegant process of discovery. IPC worked primarily with native species to highlight the distinctive flora of the region while ensuring a resilient and adaptive urban ecology and evolving a singular sense of identity for the District. The result is a demonstration of how urban spaces can be elevated, both visually and functionally, through the appropriate and imaginative integration of design, planning, and trees.
Paseo Ponti is a new pedestrian promenade bisecting the Miami Design District. Portions of the Paseo are shaded by a mature tree canopy emerging from second-story roof gardens. On the ground plane, trees weave throughout the Nuage installation by the Bouroullec brothers. The Paseo extends from 38th to 42nd Street, connecting Paradise Plaza to Palm Court, a large open courtyard populated by a collection of palms and a Buckminster Fuller geodesic dome.
Palm Court represents one of our principal projects of Phase II. The expansive open courtyard is lightly forested by groups of more than 80 palms representing several native species from South Florida and the Caribbean, including Coccothrinax spp. and Heterospathe elata. The groupings of palms surround an iconic geodesic dome designed by renowned architect and inventor, Buckminster Fuller. Palm Court also features public art installations by Konstantin Grcic, Matthew Richie, and Xavier Veilhan.
Jungle Plaza-IPC was approached to create a dialogue between nature and art for Jungle Plaza—a 35,400 square-foot, mixed-used space atop a parking garage in Miami’s Design District, with works by Sol LeWitt and 2×4. Our immediate instinct was to curate a show featuring rare Caribbean palms and native trees presented above ground in massive oolite plinths, each weighing between 4-10 tons and ranging in height from 12-30 feet. As a bridge between nature and art, the oolite plinths simultaneously create beautiful sculptural forms while providing a living substrate for endemic plant species. Each plinth sits in the plaza as a self-contained island, individually existing autonomously, while collectively creating a shared environment. The entrance to the Plant Plinths at Jungle Plaza is on 38th Street and NE 1st Avenue, Miami.