Rubell Museum

Miami, Florida

Selldorf Architects has completed the design of the new home for the Rubell Museum in Miami’s Allapattah District. The museum was created through the adaptive re-use of six industrial structures that have been transformed into one coherent whole. The expansion of the collection into this 100,000 square foot, single-story campus is not just an opportunity for the public to engage more deeply with the art, but with the neighborhood as well.

The design of the building welcomes visitors with a few key elements: a lush new courtyard garden replaces a former loading dock; an internal street organizes circulation clearly; and the strategic insertion of windows into the warehouse structures allows natural daylight into the space. The building maintains the overall vocabulary of these original structures while updating them sensitively to serve their new public purpose.

Covered walkways surrounding the garden lead visitors first to the reception desk and a restaurant, which will draw people in throughout the day and will be an amenity for the neighborhood. From there, the internal street leads west to the library and galleries, which unfold off of and loop back to the street.

Administrative and social spaces, such as a flexible multi-purpose room for lectures and performances, are to the east. A balance of large and small galleries addresses the collection’s needs, from expansive spaces to intimate rooms. The interiors have a cohesive language of white walls and refinished concrete floors.

Selldorf Architects collaborated with McKenzie, the architect of record and contractor, and with landscape designer La Casona.

(Photography credits: Nicholas Venezia, Chi-Lam)