Long limboing between the place to party and the place to spend your golden years, Miami has emerged as a serious cultural and design game changer, from Art Basel Miami Beach’s inception in 2002 to the branding of the Miami Design District neighborhood. Here, renowned Miami architect Rene Gonzalez sings his hometown’s praises.
Lincoln Road The 1111 building anchors one end of this pedestrian street, and the New World Symphony building by Frank Gehry is at the other. The 1111 building is actually a newer parking garage by Herzog & de Meuron, and it has this open, sculptural feel. We designed the Alchemist concept store on the fifth floor, and Juvia restaurant at the top has the most amazing views of the city. lincolnroad.org
The Venetian Causeway and Islands Going across these causeways is really important for understanding Miami; the city is up against a bay and is constantly having this interaction with water. I don’t know of any other city where the water, the bay, the ocean, and the sky have such a strong presence.
The Cisneros Fontanals Art Foundation (CIFO) Ella Cisneros is a visionary who bought this project in a neglected area. So we designed this building in 2005 to be an oasis among warehouses and clubs downtown — the exterior literally depicts a jungle, but the space inside is still very raw for installations. There’s an amazing bistro across the street, neMesis. 1018 N. Miami Ave., (305) 455-3380; cifo.org
Pubbelly Sushi At this Asian restaurant with Latin touches, you’ll want to order the tostones. They chill your sake in these amazing containers. 1424 20th St., (305) 531-9282; pubbellysushi.com
Versailles The epicenter of Cuban-American culture. Don’t leave without trying the fried plantains. 3555 SW 8th St., (305) 444-0240;versaillesrestaurant.com