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Perkins+Will’s Miami Office is a Living Lab of Design Trends

February 20, 2019

In Perkins+Will’s new Miami office, creativity abounds. It’s filled with architects, designers and forward-thinkers and the space is literally meant to be a living lab of design trends. The recent office is in Miami’s Coral Gables business district and the firm incorporated many popular design practices into its fresh interior, such as meditation rooms, ping pong tables, standing desks, a VR studio and sustainable materials.

Ahead of Design Trends

“This was an incredible opportunity for us as a firm, an office here in Miami to re-envision how we wanted to work for the next 10 to 20 years,” says Elina Cardet, design director at Perkins+Will and lead designer for the new office. “We have developed so much in the first 20 years, so it was about rethinking how we want to collaborate, how we want to be more creative, have more focused areas where we can concentrate, have quiet time – but also specifically how we produce projects together as a team.”

Other features include showers to encourage people to bike to work, a formal boardroom and a wellness room with a daybed for anyone who needs a break or some relaxation. “We wanted to test ideas so that later, we could talk to clients about things that work for us,” Cardet explains. There’s also a maker space to showcase 3D printing and models crafted by hand.

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“We carefully designed for our own needs, so we have a place for everything,” says Cardet. “Then we can tell clients, ‘Look, we can really dive in and work with your needs.’ Every company has a different culture and business model, and it’s really paying attention to how they want to work that we make the best workplace designs.”

Throughout the space are custom millwork wall and ceiling panels that guide your view toward the east to see downtown Miami and the water; and the concrete floor was stripped and white-washed. This creates a balance of “finished and unfinished that works really well,” Cardet describes.

Because of its successful design, the office’s building owners are showcasing the Perkins+Will floor to potential tenants. “They’re showing our floor as what the building can potentially be for them,” Cardet says. “It’s interesting to be showcased that way, too, from a real estate perspective.”

She adds that the office is also helping with recruitment. “People want to come and work with us because the space is so great.”

Overall, the Miami office achieved its goal of serving as an integrated creative design studio that promotes wellness and collaboration – even if designing for designers proved to be challenging. “We’re all architects and designers, and we were our own clients,” Cardet explains. “Being able to open it up to everybody’s voices and then distill, edit and synthesize, you can’t make everybody happy. But we had open conversations about making sure everybody was heard and everyone had a voice – and that was rewarding.”

All photography by Robin Hill


Columbia Forest Products

Custom acoustic wood ceilings and millwork are made with Columbia Forest Products’ white oak veneer.



Small recessed square light fixtures are installed in the wood ceilings.


Herman Miller

Eames Aluminum Group chairs provide style and comfort.

The Senator Group

The boardroom table has become the go-to place for the architecture and design communities to host meetings.


Herman Miller

The Nelson Daybed allows workers a reprieve in the private wellness room.



Broom Stools foster comfortable collaboration in the material library.



The custom worktable and millwork are finished in Formica Infiniti ColorCore.


Herman Miller

Aeron Remastered Task Chairs are a democratic solution for workplace comfort.


The sit/stand adjustable desks also include storage units with Designtex upholstery fabric.

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