Gateway Center

City of Sunny Isles Beach
Transforming a Garage into a Public Forum

This welcoming, inclusive, and equitable public space was once a municipal parking garage, re-envisioned and re-programed as a premier social space for the community.

The Center complements the Park, an urban green public space offering year-round cultural, entertainment and fitness events, as well as passive recreation. Offering varied entertainment, cultural, intellectual, social and fitness programming during the day, and a rentable special events venue during the evening, the space was transformed into a multi-use, multi-purpose premier center for the city’s diverse community of residents.

Our team transformed a concrete box of an existing city garage building into a welcoming community space by inserting a luminous wood box hosting a series of social, educational and entertainment spaces. These programed spaces are sequentially organized facing a light-filled corridor along the existing south loggia of the building. This corridor is activated by a sequence of varied built-in nooks for serendipitous interactions: the Social Street.

The design focused on essential, edited forms to evoke a serene and unique experience for all users providing durability and ease of maintenance, while avoiding the typical solutions found in municipal government public spaces.

Building upon a strong sense of Community:
Recognizing the post-pandemic need to re-establish social connections, the center provides for both programmed, scheduled activities and serendipitous encounters, the design addresses the diverse community’s multi-generational and multi-cultural needs.
Transformative
As a center for the community during day, and special events space during the evening, the City Manager and Commissioners’ goals included offering an affordable yet high quality, thoughtfully considered, and carefully designed alternative to the nearby Yacht Club and local Hotels for social interactions and to mark life’s celebrations.

Project Team

People
Elina Cardet
People
Lawrence Kline