IMMU (Immigrant museum)
Miami beach, Florida, USA
A pier museum for immigrants should be both a monument for the period when people found refuge in Miami, as a beautiful building on the shore of the city of diversity: Miami. As important as the building itself is the pier which can be a symbol for the journey immigrants had to make to reach their goal. Never a return ticket but always one way, they left their home country to travel to the unknown in search of a better future. That’s why we suggest to split the way to the museum into a tunnel below the beach: a metaphor for the long uncertain journey the immigrants made, and a pier above it: symbol for their arrival in Miami.
The building itself is also divided into two layers, separated from each other by almost nothing than air, so that the ocean view is maintained and two public terraces are created. From Fifth Avenue visitors will see a concrete box of 10 by 5 meters from which the front is made of richly “Caribbean” coloured glass that says: “IMMU”: Immigrants Museum. In the box a stair and elevators lead the way to the tunnel which has a diameter of 9 by 9 meters at the beginning and 3 by 3 meters at the end. Entering the building one can either take a short tour directly to the temporary exhibitions and the cafeteria with a fantastic view over the ocean, or take a long journey through an important part of Miami’s history.
Both sides of the building are made of concrete. The front and back of the upper level are made out of glass through which one can see a large coloured painting, regarding the Caribbean culture. Light flows inside the whole building on both levels through a roof made of glass bricks in different transparencies and solar panels.