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Why You Should Be Jealous of this Gorgeous Design District Alley

If Rome had a do over, the architects would have made something like this. It's not enough that the Design District visionaries at DACRA created a monumentally beautiful neighborhood with some of the most exquisite examples of building design in Miami. Phase two unveiled four new city blocks and this gorgeous alley, designed by architect Daniel Toole.

In many of my posts, I show examples of how other cities have brilliantly addressed some of the more banal aspects of their outdoor spaces-- an attempt to inspire greater design here in my hometown--Miami. But in this post, Miami blissfully got it right. Let's see how.

First, the Hook:

Start with the entrance to the alley. A rather long block is cut in half with a pedestrian cut-through. Simple enough. But DACRA upped the ante with this futuristic shade structure/sculpture designed by Bouroullec Brothers, which is so damn beautiful, you have to walk up to it to get a closer look. And just like that you've entered a new space.


Second, it's Attention to Detail:

And for a real treat check out the "cladding" on this storefront above. It's tree bark and it covers the entire two stories of this fashionable shoe store.


Third, A Peak Inside Sets the Intrigue:

A narrow opening reveals a glimpse of something completely different and unexpected. What's clever are the layers of elements that convince the passerby to enter the space.

(1) There's a complete change in the pavement material and pattern. It's laid out like an authentic Italian piazza.