Most carparks are bland, boring and uninspiring spaces, not really given a second thought once you’ve parked your car. But luckily not all carparks are created equal and quite a few architects have been thinking outside the concrete square.
Check out these forward thinking designs.
Q-Park Charles Street, a multi-storey carpark in the UK town of Sheffield, is affectionately known by locals as ‘The Cheesegrater’. Designed by London architects Allies & Morrison, the eye catching building has 530 parking spaces and features hundreds of metallic panels placed at different angles causing it to glint like a huge diamond in the sunlight. It won the award for the World’s Coolest Carpark in 2013.
Image Source: Daily Mail.co.uk
2. Eureka Tower Carpark, Melbourne, Australia
Closer to home, the Eureka Tower Carpark in Melbourne’s Southbank may look relatively normal on the outside but its interior incorporates a fun graphic design element. Giant colourful 3D words guide drivers UP, DOWN or OUT as they negotiate the carpark’s ramps. The concept was inspired by Swiss artist Felice Varini who used 3D vector art on the exterior and interior of buildings to transform a drab space.
Image Source: Omglog
3. Veranda Carpark, Rotterdam, Holland
Who says that a carpark has to be square? The Veranda carpark by Dutch architect Paul de Ruiter is refreshingly trapezium-shaped with lots of curves and rounded edges giving a sense of movement and flow. In fact this high-tech carpark is even designed to extract exhaust fumes so it’s literally a breath of fresh air for anyone parking there. It has four underground and four above ground levels, and its aluminium facade is designed to let in daylight and views of the sky so people can feel connected to the outside world.
Image Source: Arch Daily
4. 1111 Lincoln Road, Miami, USA
Robert Wennett, a Miami developer and art collector, enlisted Swiss architects Herzog & de Meuron to create this cool carpark some describe as resembling a house of cards. But this radical carpark with its zig-zag columns isn’t likely to blow down in a strong wind. 111 Lincoln Road has won numerous design awards for its open-air interior harnessing natural light and soaring 34 foot high ceilings. With 360 degree views of Miami and South Beach, it is one of the best places in the city for watching sunsets.
Image Source: Princeton Architectural Press
5. Solar Tree, California, USA
Imagine a carpark that actually recharges your car and lets you drive on sunshine. In California solar power is a happening thing with a company called Envision Solar providing charging stations and solar powered tree carparks that can charge electric vehicles (EV). The structure can rotate with the angle of the sun to get maximum rays and Envision say the sustainable venture will provide an emergency power source during blackouts.
Image Source: Envision Solar