Projects / Design Competitions
Miami Pier Museum Competition
DUALITY OF IDENTITY
The Cuban immigration movement into Miami from 1950 to 1980 was wrought with political intrigue, complexity, and danger. But the movement also brought with it personal challenges in the form of the personal dilemmas that come with the adoption and transition of a new culture and traditions while maintaining the old.
This Duality of Identity and the transformation involved is the concept for the Miami Pier Museum 2009.
The ramp represents the ‘Journey’ from the origins beyond the geometry of the building with the inner structure as the core and foundation of individual identity. As the journey moves through the main entry into the rest of the building, striations of the skin of the building begin to coalesce closer together thus merging with parts of the structural inner core until the skin begins to cluster and progressively forms solid geometries. Thus the adoption of a new culture is merged with the old and the transformation is the ongoing self discovery of identity without shedding the old.
At the furthest end of the building, the skin has transformed into solid mass signifying the seemingly complete assimilation of a new identity. However, glass boxes protrude from openings in the solid mass in which individuals can walk out into and ‘look back’ and reflect on their past.
The visitors and guests also play an interactive role in the definition of the museum. As the people arrive at the entrance, each person is asked to anonymously identify their country of origin. This information is tallied in the form of individually colored cells that is housed in the structural mesh material forming the inner core throughout the building. Each country is represented by a particular color which will light up and represent an interactive demographic count on the exterior of the museum. Thus the visitors themselves leave a remnant of their cursory daily visit, just as immigrants make their mark on the new land, and just as the tides of the sea leave barnacles on the reef or a pier, and give nutrients and life to the shore.