Who are Miami’s Most Iconic Landscape Architects?

Who are Miami’s Most Iconic Landscape Architects?

Dec 07, 2023 December 07, 2023

If you love Miami, you're probably also a lover of its lush subtropical landscapes, with swaying palms and shady canopied gardens that adorn so many of our favorite outdoor spots. While it may look as though nature simply appears flawlessly in these locations, the truth is that some of these oases are carefully curated by famous Miami landscape architects and designers who create outdoor worlds that we humans (and animals) love to be a part of.

From the incredible indoor-outdoor environment at the Pérez Art Museum Miami (PAMM) to the outdoor theater at South Beach's Soundscape Park at the New World Center, and all of the delicious outdoor spaces in new Miami condo buildings, here are the people responsible for creating these green masterpieces. These are the top Miami landscape architects making our city beautiful and more livable.

— Herzog & de Meuron

The Swiss architectural firm Herzog & de Meuron has left an indelible mark on two iconic locations in Miami, with a couple of unforgettable public facility designs: the iconic Pérez Art Museum Miami (PAMM), completed in 2013, and the whimsical 1111 Lincoln Road building and promenade, including the famed parking garage, for which they partnered with Raymond Jungles (see below). Completed in 2010, this building doubles as a party space and a massive indoor-outdoor yoga studio for special events. Both of these garden locations take advantage of native subtropical species to create sustainable gardens that feel totally at home in the South Florida climate.

Established in Basel, Switzerland in 1978, Herzog & de Meuron was founded by Jacques Herzog and Pierre de Meuron and employs an international team consisting of 550 collaborators, and has earned global recognition for its stunning diverse projects around the world, ranging from private residences to large scale public facilities. The firm creates magical landscapes in collaboration with local landscape designers at the locations where their famous structures reside, including Miami.

Pérez Art Museum Miami (PAMM)Pérez Art Museum Miami (PAMM)

Pérez Art Museum Miami (PAMM)

— Raymond Jungles

Raymond Jungles is a transplanted Miamian hailing originally from Nebraska, who has been transforming public spaces since 1981, with projects that extend from Mexico to Montana and New York City. A Coconut Grove resident, the bulk of Jungle's work is right here in Miami, at such sites as the Faena House, Apogee, Grove at Grand Bay, Jade Signature, The Confidante, Soho Beach House, and the urban oasis of a park at the Miami Beach Botanical Garden.

Jungles, who couldn't have a better name and is also among the top Miami landscape architects, also worked with the prestigious Herzog and de Meuron on the design of the landscaping on Lincoln Road Mall surrounding the iconic parking garage at 1111 Lincoln Road, where Jungles created a "habitat for people" inspired by the beauty and plant species of the Everglades. 

Jungles infuses his Miami landscape designs with his passion for the city. "I love this city, and the diversity of the people, the plants, and the animals," he stated in a Miami Herald interview. Inspired by his mentor, the late world-renowned Brazilian landscape artist and designer Roberto Burle Marx, Jungles has worked with such design groups as Foster + Partners, Bjarke Ingels, Lake Flato, OMA, Chad Oppenheim, and locals such as Rene Gonzalez.

Raymond Jungles 1111 Building Rooftop South Beach

Photo courtesy of Raymond Jungles

— Arquitectonica GEO

ArquitectonicaGEO is the landscape design arm of Arquitectonica, one of Miami's most influential architectural firms, whose Latin-inspired signature style favors clean, modern design with bold tropical accents. It is led by Laurinda H. Spear and Margarita Blanco, two of Miami’s famous women landscape architects.

In addition to its many other local projects, Arquitectonica GEO worked alongside Herzog and de Meuron on the design of the gardens and landscaping at the Pérez Art Museum Miami (PAMM). Native trees, shrubs, vines, and groundcovers were selected to complement the museum's green design and sustainable building materials, as well as its clean geometric architecture, providing a striking backdrop for the dramatic vertical gardens, designed by botanist and landscape artist Patrick Blanc, which serve as this project's pièce de résistance.

The bayfront landscape design at PAMM features irrigation systems designed to capture and recycle rainwater and A/C condensation to provide irrigation for the garden, conserving the local supply of freshwater. Large trees provide nourishing shade for surrounding local species, selected for their hardiness and ability to weather the South Florida climate while providing a supporting living stage for the museum's collection of outdoor sculptures.

Completed in 2013, the landscape design at PAMM won the 2014 Florida Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) Award of Excellence, the Frederic B. Stresau Award, which recognizes "absolute innovation and design excellence." Among their more recent projects are Canopy Park at Five Park in South Beach, Cipriani Residences in Brickell, and the Mr. C Residences in Coconut Grove.

Perez Art Museum Miami (PAMM)

Gardens and landscaping at the Perez Art Museum Miami (PAMM

— Fernando Wong

Fernando Wong studied architecture and interior design in his native Panama before emigrating to the U.S., where he found himself digging ditches on a landscaping crew. When his boss saw him doodling on the job, he hired him to come up with landscape designs. Fast forward, and the Miami Beach resident has been named "one of the most influential landscape designers in America" by Elle Décor, Garden Design Magazine described him as "a genius with the soul of a poet," Forbes called him a "landscape legend," and Architectural Digest named him "the creative mind behind Miami's lushest landscapes." Today, Fernando Wong Outdoor Living Design, a firm run by Wong and his partner Tim Johnson, has projects all over the world.

Wong doesn't claim a signature design style. Instead, he draws inspiration from each site to create his lush, tropical outdoor worlds. Indeed, an iconic local Fernando Wong project is the sculpture garden at the Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA) Miami in the Design District. There, Wong created the breathtaking, 15,000-square-foot Petra and Stephen Levin Sculpture Garden, which includes a series of hidden outdoor enclaves, each hosting a sculpture amid a quiet display of native plantings. Wong's intention for the space was to create a living canopy that visually links the museum to "the unlimited sea of Miami trees."

The firm's newest signature project in South Florida is the luxurious Four Seasons Private Residences in Fort Lauderdale, in which he offered, for the first time, complementary landscaping services for the outdoor spaces in the residences. The design includes linear parks, pocket parks, and outdoor dining terraces that give residents different vantage points of the community and the streets.

Surf Club Four Seasons Hotel and Residence

Surf Club Four Seasons Hotel and Residence in Surfside

— Enzo Enea

One of the best Miami landscape architects, the Swiss Enzo Enea, has designed over 1,000 unique gardens and outdoor spaces for hotels, spas, condos, and museums around the world, as well as private gardens for the Queen of Bahrain and King Charles of England. Enea has also worked alongside some of the world's top architects, including the famed Zaha Hadid, providing the landscape design at Hadid's famed One Thousand Museum condo in downtown Miami.

In 2005, the Swiss-based landscape designer opened Enea Garden Design, Inc. in Miami, which serves as the United States headquarters of his international firm. His team, consisting of talented global professionals specialized in architecture, landscape architecture, biology, and construction, has developed several projects across the Americas and the Caribbean, ranging from residential and commercial projects to master planning and public facilities, for which the firm has received recognition from the Florida Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects.

Among the firm's other local residential projects are Park Grove in Coconut Grove, One Ocean in South Beach, Oceana in Bal Harbor, Marea in Miami Beach, and other such locations as Fisher Island, and public facilities at Brickell Park. His latest projects include these new Miami condo developments under construction: Casa Bella in the Arts & Entertainment District, St. Regis Residences Miami in Brickell, and Una in Brickell, among others.

One Thousand Museum

One Thousand Museum

— West 8 

The Dutch design firm, West 8, has brought its unique style to several Miami landmarks, including Soundscape Park at the New World Center, which has some one-of-a-kind features such as the hand-fabricated aluminum pergolas along the edges of the park, inspired by local cumulus clouds. These structures provide shade while supporting a canopy of bougainvillea vines. Completed in 2011, this project won a Frederic B. Stresau Award, bestowed by The Cultural Landscape Foundation.

West 8, led by creative director Daniel Vasini, is also responsible for the renovation of the civic spaces at the Miami Beach Convention Center, the landscaping at Renzo Piano’s Eighty Seven Park, and the redesign of the 30-acre North Shore Open Space Park in North Beach, in partnership with local landscape architect Calvin, Giordano & Associates (CGA).

Soundscape Park - Miami Beach

Soundscape Park at the New World Center

— Savino & Miller

Founded in 1986 by Adriana Savino, one of Miami’s most famous female architects, and Barry Miller, Savino & Miller Design brings a collaborative approach to their array of architecture, landscape architecture, urban design, and regional planning projects. 

The firm's early projects included small private gardens, patios, terraces, and courtyards in Miami Beach's Art Deco District, complementing and enhancing the local architecture while "uplifting the role of nature," a concept that has been essential to their practice from the very beginning. However, they also plan city parks, including the Miami Baywalk plan, spanning from Edgewater to the Miami River, as well as Museum Park Masterplan and the Venetian Islands streetscapes. 

Over time, the firm has come to specialize in preservation and sustainability projects. In addition to an assortment of local private gardens, Savino & Miller's landscape design work is featured nationally, including the Sandy Look Memorial Park. Locally, you can thank this top landscape architecture firm for favorite local landmarks like the beloved and sprawling South Pointe Park, Maurice A Ferré Park in Downtown, Belle Isle Park, and the historic, 14-acre Pinecrest Gardens.

Savino & Miller South Pointe Park, South Beach

Photo courtesy of Savino & MillerSavino & Miller South Pointe Park South Beach

— CLAD Landscape Architecture 

After many years of managing a large landscape architecture firm in Miami, Carolina Monteiro, another one of Miami’s most famous female landscape architects, founded CLAD in 2017. They work on a variety of projects including private residences, boutique hotels, and larger developments. Through the use of a controlled material palette, they are able to make calm yet sophisticated designs, while prioritizing functionality and simple maintenance.

CLAD - J+EM Residence

Photo courtesy of CLAD

— Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Who Is the Most Famous Landscape Architect?

Best known for designing Central Park in New York City, most people consider Frederick Law Olmsted Sr. as the father of landscape architecture. Since then, many landscape architects have followed in his footsteps to create the fantastic scenes we see worldwide today around private and public buildings. 

How Much Do Landscape Architects Earn Near Miami, FL?

As of October 2023, the average salary for a landscape architect near Miami is $96,100, and the range typically falls between $80,100 and $110,700. 

What Is the Highest-Paid Landscape Architect?

It is reported that the top 10% of landscape architects earn around $128,000, but the highest-paid landscape architects are more than likely those who own and run their own firms, whose salaries are not reported.

— So, Now You Know Who’s Behind the Miami Landscape Scenes

This list represents the most famous Miami landscape architects but there are many more appearing each year with wonderful designs. Next time you're enjoying the beauty and ambiance created by South Florida's swaying palm trees, fragrant flowers, and lush canopies, you’ll be able to admire the beautiful landscapes specialized professionals create to keep our outdoor surroundings inspiring and beautiful, as natural extensions of the unique ecosystem we call home, and the vibrant, subtropical soul of Miami.

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