An Architecture Darling Shares Miami’s Hottest Spots



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Elina Cardet

Architectural Designer, Perkins+Will

When acclaimed architectural designer Elina Cardet of Perkins+Will relocated from New York City to Miami in 2015, the move came with an unexpected energy within the design community, which struck a chord with Cardet. “Miami is this modern, international city that is exciting to witness how it continues to reinvent and transform itself,” reflects Cardet. This year, the associate principal is also spearheading a diverse portfolio for Perkins+Will, where she and her team are ushering in two new hotels in Miami Beach, developing science and technology projects in Brazil, and designing several airport lounges worldwide. When she’s not adding to her already impressive resume, you’ll find the design connoisseur recharging her batteries in her newfound hometown. “This tropical city, where overgrown, unconfined nature overlaps with architecture, is a magnet for creatives around the world,” she muses. With that in mind, Cardet shares with us what places and people are fueling her creative endeavors in her international city.


“This tropical city, where overgrown, unconfined nature overlaps with architecture, is a magnet for creatives around the world.”

-Elina Cardet

10 a.m. A double espresso latte and watermelon lime juice from Ella is a must while perusing Miami’s Design District. Take a walk around the variety of high-design boutiques, public art installations, galleries and furniture and materials showrooms. It is my go-to for quick inspiration.

11 a.m. Then, I’ll pop into Ann Sacks to view swatches before walking across the street to see the latest FSC-certified engineered wood plank samples at Pianeta Legno.

12 p.m. In the same building, treat yourself to lunch at MC Kitchen. The atmosphere is incredible, as is the black mission fig pizzetta. Also, leave room for the vanilla bean creme brulee with caramelized blood oranges. If you have time, make your way to nearby Wynwood and stop into Glottman for a few of Tom Dixon‘s hand-formed copper bowls.

2 p.m. Head to Coral Gables, nicknamed the “The City Beautiful,” and for good reason! Lush tropical gardens, incredible 300-year-old Banyan trees and Spanish Revival architecture define the neighborhood, as seen at the storied Biltmore Hotel and Venetian Pool.

3 p.m. Downtown Coral Gables has great design showrooms and galleries. For great wines, try Cava Mezze Grill, and for a quick snack, go to Small Tea for a mushroom tartine.

4 p.m. While you’re in Coral Gables, check out the Perkins+Will Miami office and meet the team–all 55 of them! It’s a close-knit group, spanning architecture, urban planning, landscape architecture and interior design. Some of our younger team members are stars in their own right and have been doing amazing work with the students at DASH, the design and architecture high school, as part of the ACE (architecture, construction, engineering) mentoring program, as well as doing pro bono work in Senegal, Africa. We also just celebrated 20 years of innovation at YoungArts’ The Jewel Box, a modern, color stained-glass space.

5 p.m. For a big dose of inspiration, be sure to stop by the Fountainhead Residency open house, where you can meet national and international artists working on site-specific pieces. End the day with dinner at Vagabond Kitchen & Bar, located in the famed Vagabond Hotel in the MiMo historical district.