Perez Art Museum Miami opens its doors

Pérez Art Museum Miami by Herzog & de Meuron (Iwan Baan)

Pérez Art Museum Miami by Herzog & de Meuron (Iwan Baan)


, Last Updated: 3:39 PM ET

The transformation of the former Miami Art Museum into the Pérez Art Museum Miami (PAMM) is complete, as the building opens its doors to the public this week.

Amidst the city-wide buzz surrounding this week's industry fairs Design Miami and Art Basel Miami 2013, the timely opening on December 4 confirms Miami's position as a cultural hub and emerging global art capital.

Designed by Swiss architectural firm Herzog & de Meuron, the building features 200,000 square feet (18,581 square meters) of indoor and outdoor exhibition space, making it three times larger than the original space on the previous West Flagler Street site.

The project features an exterior canopy, vertical hanging gardens and impressive views over Biscayne Bay.
"The building's environmental circumstances, the hot climate, the heavy storms, have informed the architectural concept in the very first place," explained Senior Partner of Herzog & de Meuron Christine Binswanger. "The use of concrete and the large canopy are part of a strategy to keep the heat out.

"Nevertheless, the building appears as a rather fragile structure, and perhaps that is also the beauty of it."

The ambitious $220m project took three years to complete and includes different gallery typologies, custom-designed to the museum's needs by Herzog & de Meuron to create a non-linear viewing experience.

The museum began life as the city's Center for Fine Arts, founded in 1984. It became the Miami Art Museum in 1996 but the space closed earlier this year in to make way for the re-christened PAAM.

PAMM has announced a brand new inaugural exhibition program to celebrate its opening, including "Americana," a retrospective of the work to come out of the Americas, which will run until May 2015.