Built to symbolize the turbulent trials of immigration and the furies of the sea that brought the immigrants to Florida, the Miami Pier Museum of Latin American Immigrants building is symbolic and artful in its reflection of the struggles of Miami’s immigrants.

The museum, designed by architect Maciej Zawadzki, who is based in Copenhagen, is thoughtful to the immigrants it is honoring in all aspects of its design. The exterior’s twists symbolize the complicated emotions involved with leaving a motherland and coming to a land of opportunity. Simultaneously, the building’s interior features twisting elevations, reminding visitors of the effort needed and hills that are climbed in the immigration process.

The building also honors and mimics the sea that brought immigrants from Latin America and the extreme weather that affects it, with Zawadzki naming hurricanes as an inspiration for the museum’s façade form. The building itself resembles a giant wave, and its positioning on a pier over the ocean, off a beach front enhances this likeness. Interestingly, the building has been designed to be resistant to the very force it resembles: construction materials that are resistant to high winds and water will be used, and the aerodynamic design itself seeks to protect the museum and its content from South Florida’s extreme weather.

Meant to be a space of somber remembrance of past struggles rather than a celebration of new opportunity, the building features such rooms as a “contemplation terrace,” where visitors can look out onto the sea in reflection. No information is available on when the museum will actually be built.


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