Glass Accents
glass tile
plate glass
ribbon windows

Flourishes
space age elements
cutouts
cheeseholes

Structure
concrete canopies
floating stairs
signage

What makes it MiMo?

Space Age Elements

The Delano's crown, left, resembles a streamlined space craft

The nation in the 1950s was fascinated with space travel. The streamlined accents on the crowning embellishment of the Delano, left, reflect an obsession with futuristic technology.

In October 1957, the Russians launched Sputnik and the Space Race between two world powers began. Mimo architecture incorporates elements of space-age imagery through the use of curved flourishes, decorative metal railings, spiral staircases, sloping roofs, sharp corners and clean, textured stucco.


Cutouts

A concrete cutout facade on the Sherry Frontenac in North Miami Beach

Stucco and concrete gave architects wider control over the shape of their exteriors, and so these cheap materials were ubiquitous.

Stucco was inexpensive, and the malleable plaster was used on building exteriors as well as for decorative features. The plaster could be molded into a relief pattern that would catch the sun and add dimension to an otherwise flat wall.

Similarly, the use of concrete cutouts like the example here outside the Sherry Frontenac, boasted the structural integrity of the modern buildings. According to Nash and Robinson, circular cutouts on roofs placed over a accompanying planters where palm trees could grow is a "classic MiMo touch."

Cheeseholes

Decorative windows on the Fontainebleau resemble holes in Swiss cheese.

Whimsical round windows over the entranceway to the Fontainebleau Hotel are inspired by nautical themes. The holes appear on arches that were added to Morris Lapidus' original design in 1958.

Cheesehole ornamentation adds an organic element to an otherwise Modern design. This playful component of MiMo architecture is right at home in its playful tropical environment on the ocean.