A venue in the heart of downtown Miami is an example of an elastic environment: designed as both a parking garage and a multi-use civic space. 11 11 has been created as a multipurpose, premium parking garage in Miami Beach, Florida that doubles as a venue for weddings, wine tastings, yoga classes and more.
Developed by art collector Robert Wennett, and the architects of London’s Tate Modern and the Beijing 2008 Olympic Stadium, Herzog & de Meuron, the oversized loft-looking building features extraordinarily high ceilings, mixed retail and parking services and venue rental space that, thanks to the absence of exterior walls, offers event guests sweeping views of the city.
To keep pace with the changing face of downtown areas as they transition from understated business and commerce centers by day into lively areas for social and cultural engagements by night, urban developers are designing infrastructure that can adapt to meet an evolving set of needs. The designers of the 11 11 building, which is located in the heart of Miami’s cultural hotspots, wanted to transform it into a social spot that encourages community. Able to house 300 cars, the seven floor structure can be easily transformed to suit a variety of purposes. The project showcases the potential for creating civic spaces through mixed-use environments.
Rachel Shechtman is a retail pioneer exploring the potential of elastic environments. As the owner of the STORY shop in NYC, she is redefining the physical retail experience by switching out all its merchandise every four to eight weeks much like a gallery. Rachel agrees that spaces – commercial and public – need to adapt to changing need states:
At the end of the day we eat, sleep, get dressed, talk, walk and do a myriad of other things every day (if we are lucky). Therefore, the more environments and spaces can address multiple needs and tasks in a simple, relevant and accessible way, we will all benefit.
A similar example of an elastic environment is On The Way - a public venue in Russia which is an open space to be used and transformed by locals residents. It is easily reconfigured to fit a variety of uses such as a cinema, athletic space, collaborative art space, market, or party venue. The open ended and accessible nature of the outdoor space allows it to be tailored by nearby residents to suit their personalized needs.
These elastic environments accommodate a range of use cases, transforming any environment into a multi-use destination that attracts a mix of demographics.
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