Between the boxy profiles and relentless use of cement, parking garages are about as unsexy as you can get. But a selection of recent projects are proving otherwise. These cool parking lots and garages are taking the form to a whole new level.
Stadsberget by White Arkitekter and Henning Larsen Architects, in Piteå, Sweden
Just 130 kilometres below the arctic circle rests the Swedish town of Piteå, where the Stadsberget (Swedish for “city mountain”) building comprises a parking lot, sledding hill and public amphitheatre. Clad in locally-sourced larch wood and with a green roof for additional gathering space, Stadsberget is proof that a parking garage can be so much more.
Parking garage at Cliniques Universitaires Saint-Luc by de Jong Gortemaker Algra and Modulo architects, in Brussels
The architects wanted this hospital parking garage to be a welcoming first point of contact for staff and visitors. To that end, they created an undulating facade of hardwood slats to conceal the three underground and two above-ground parking levels. The underground levels are contained by a terraced wall of steel gabions that will eventually be covered in greenery.
MSCP Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park by Haptic Architects, London
Haptic was asked to re-clad this parking lot near London’s Lee Navigation Canal. The new facade features a triangular meshwork of powder-coated aluminum in two tones, complemented by punchy graphic signage by Bob Design.
RAI Amsterdam Convention Centre Car Park by Benthem Crouwel, in Amsterdam
This eight-storey car park in Amsterdam’s business district is fronted by a pair of striking concrete coils – one for incoming vehicles, another for outgoing. Blue LEDs light up the spirals at night.
Underground garage by Royal HaskoningDHV, in Katwijk aan Zee, The Netherlands
This underground parking garage by Dutch firm Royal HaskoningDHV is almost invisible. Embedded in the landscape, its entrances and exits are the only elements to rise above the surface. Located on the sea, the dune-like garage system has the added benefit of serving as a protective dike. A jury from the Royal Institute of Dutch Architects voted it the Best Dutch Building of the Year in 2016.
Faena Car Park by OMA, in Miami
An irregular form and circular perforations define OMA’s Faena Car Park. Located next to the Faena Forum (arts centre) and Bazaar (retail centre), also by OMA, the Car Park features a vehicle elevator, exposed by a glass wall on one side.
Zutphen Station by MoederscheimMoonen, in Zutphen, the Netherlands
This parking garage by MoederscheimMoonen stores not only cars, but up to 600 bicycles. Located next to the train station in the town of Zutphen, it is lifted above ground level by galvanized columns that reference the area’s industrial past. Loosely spaced wooden slats both ventilate and brighten up the space.
Car Park Four at Chesapeake by Elliott + Associates, in Oklahoma City
Elliott + Associates clad this parking garage in white aluminum slats to make it look transparent when viewed head-on, but opaque when seen at an angle. One of four designed by the firm for the Chesapeake Energy Corporation, the garage is colour-coded to help users remember where they parked.