Pérez Art Museum Miami nears completion

New museum scheduled to open in December

MIAMI – Construction crews have begun putting the finishing touches on the new Pérez Art Museum Miami (PAMM).

On Wednesday, crews plastered the gallery walls, installed subfloors, and smoothed cement at the downtown building.

"This is one of the most spectacular spaces in the museum," said Leann Standish, deputy director of external affairs, as she showed off the grand staircase and auditorium. "Here, all of the time, there'll be seating. So this lower auditorium area is called the learning theater. The higher auditorium there is more seats for more programming. Above the admission desks are an entire wall of interactive screens so when our visitors tweet or Facebook post about the museum, it comes up on this interactive wall."

The new museum will have 200,000 square-feet of programmable space.

Standish explained how large plastic balls distribute the weight of the cement, allowing the building to have vast, expansive galleries without columns. The building will also have natural light, and the third-floor classroom space will have views of Biscayne Bay.

"The kid's can do their art projects out on the patio," said Standish.

Stiltsville inspired the building's simplicity.

"Jacques [Herzog's] original sketch is strikingly similar to the final building that he made after seeing those houses for the first time," said Standish.

The building will have an outdoor sculpture garden, restaurant and bar, and terraces draped with hanging plants and Adirondack chairs.

"It's the most modern version of the vision of museums today," added Standish. "It's your community's living and interactive gathering space for dialogue."

The December opening coincides with the start of Art Basel Miami Beach.

The museum is offering hard-hat tours to members. Click here for more information on their availability.

VIDEO: Local 10's Christina Vazquez takes hard-hate tour of new museum.