Hermes opens a Miami boutique

Hermès’ new boutique in Miami is an ode to the sun-drenched and organic environment

As Miami prepares for Art Basel and Design Miami, the city’s design district has filled rapidly. What was a patchwork of luxury shops a year ago has become a neighborhood in itself. From his fourth-floor office window overlooking the neighborhood, real estate developer Craig Robins points out the highlights: restaurants there, art galleries here, and shops everywhere, with hotels and plazas along the way.

One of the big markers for change was the recent opening of a new Hermès flagship. The boutique, designed by the Parisian architects RDAI, is a glass-clad space surrounded by a grove of steel bars, all painted white and of varying thicknesses. “The climate is always fantastic,” said RDAI Director Denis Montel, explaining the design team’s decision to enclose the store in clear glass. The bars, which offer a degree of privacy, speak for Miami’s surroundings. “The sunlight here is so strong that the bars create a vibration and a shadow,” explains Montel. “I was inspired by the roots of the banyan trees,” he adds, referring to the layering effect the tubes create.

Inside, the bars and glass create a brightly lit space that connects to the city’s surroundings. “Miami embodies a dream, a piece of paradise,” says Hermels CEO Axel Dumas, pointing to the blue sky outside.

The three-story boutique offers a ground floor space for Saint-Louis, the pre-eminent European glass and crystal manufacturing company, and a tree-planted roof terrace. RDAI also installed a tree in a street-level alcove to provide shade in the shop and on the sidewalk. “I wanted it to look like we organized the building around a tree,” explains Montel.

Hermès celebrated the occasion of its opening with a parade through the design district and later with a flamingo party, which dealt with Miami’s very colorful cultural heritage.

Back at his office window, Robins draws attention to the canopy of trees that line the street, created by Nathan Browning of Island Planning Corporation. As in Hermès, they animate the roofs and quote the landscaping of the district. “This is a real neighborhood now,” he says. “The trees make the difference.”

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