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Creative co-working space Miami Ironside draws Laufen’s U.S. headquarters

Miami Ironside developer Ofer Mizrahi stands in the courtyard on Friday, near segments of the Berlin Wall painted by Berlin artist Thierry Noir.
Miami Ironside developer Ofer Mizrahi stands in the courtyard on Friday, near segments of the Berlin Wall painted by Berlin artist Thierry Noir. MIAMI HERALD STAFF

When Ofer Mizrahi first came to Miami 17 years ago, the water, trees and sun struck an immediate chord — no wonder for someone who had been living in Israel’s arid rockiness. But the Eastern experience that requires resource conservation has also led him in business, to his award-winning creation of Bio-Glass, surfacing made from recycled glass, and Bio-Aluminum, made from recycled airplanes.

“Green” principles have also led Mizrahi’s creation of Miami Ironside, a collaborative workspace for designers, architects, fashion, lighting designers, graphic designers, furniture and fixture suppliers in 100,000 square feet of adapted warehouse space in the Upper East Side. Among them are Mizrahi’s own firm, Coverings Etc.; rug-designer and importer Stephanie Odegard Collection; boutique stationaire Puro Papel; green designers KZ Architecture and, as of Monday, high-end Swiss bath fixture maker Laufen.

The association with Laufen began earlier this fall, when Mizrahi saw Laufen’s SaphirKeramik project created by Konstantin Grcic and Toan Nguyen at a design fair in London. He invited Laufen — which showcased a project with Kartell last year in the Design District — to exhibit the installation at Miami Ironside.

“We got to know each other very fast,” said Marc Viardot, Laufen’s director of marketing and design. Within weeks, Laufen decided to move its U.S. headquarters from another Miami location to Ironside, located at 7610 NE Fourth Court.

“The space is stunning,” said Viardot. “It’s just right for us because we are in the b-to-b business, not retail. This is the perfect hub to create projects and have community with great energy.”

That energy will be kicked up a notch this week with Design Escape, featuring a lounge, open-house “campus collective,” art talks and a reception with designer Ron Arad. MOCA North Miami is collaborating with Ironside on the open house and some other events.

Visitors will find a breezy village surrounded by rainbow eucalytus trees featuring natural light, plazas, re-used rainwater. And except for this week, when the broader public is invited, most of those nibbling in the pizzaria and lounging in the courtyard are neighbood residents.

Said Ofer, “We like to keep it low key.”

Design Escape at Miami Ironside

Miami Ironside is located at 7610 NE Fourth Court. Main events will take place in Miami Event Space, Building 7610, Unit 100.

Open daily through Dec. 7, 11 a.m.-6 p.m., unless otherwise noted. Events are free.

Daily:

  • Mindball Interactive Gaming Experience, a learning tool by used by science centers and mainstream brands including The Coca-Cola Company, NIKE Inc., and WIRED Magazine
  • “Stars, Stars, All Eyes” exhibiton by artist Bill Dunlap Daily

Tuesday:

  • Design Escape Cocktail, 6:30-8:30 p.m., honoring designer Ron Arad.

Wednesday:

  • MOCA North Miami Art Talk with artist Bill Dunlap, 10 a.m.
  • Miami Ironside + MOCA Campus Collective Party, 7-11 p.m.
  • Design Talk: Materialized Intelligence, 7:30 p.m.

Thursday

  • Design Talk: The Future of Design, 11 a.m., with author and Miami Herald architecture columnist Alastair Gordon.
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