Parking Structure Art Facade / Urbana

  • 15 Aug 2014
  • Infrastructure Selected Works
© Serge Hoeltschi

Architects: Urbana
Location: Sidney & Lois Eskenazi Hospital, 720 Eskenazi Avenue, , IN 46202, USA
Year: 2014
Photographs: Serge Hoeltschi

From the architect. This project began with an interest in challenging the typical notion of the parking structure as an unappreciated infrastructural typology by transforming the new Eskenazi Hospital parking structure into a binary, synthetic terrain. During the design process, an interest in camouflage evolved into an approach that would create a very large dynamic, interactive element for the City.  Rather than an actively kinetic approach, with all of the inevitable maintenance and longevity concerns that accompany those types of project, we were instead working towards an approach that capitalizes on the fact that most viewers would, themselves, be moving on bicycles or in automobiles.  Thus, the design ultimately became something that offers a degree a variability of color and form as one passes by the project.  The awareness of this, interestingly enough, occurs whether someone is directly watching or even just seeing it out of their periphery of vision

© Serge Hoeltschi

The effect of a field of 7,000 angled metal panels in conjunction with an articulated east/west color strategy creates a dynamic façade system that offers observers a unique visual experience depending on their vantage point and the pace at which they are moving through the site. In this way, pedestrians and slow moving vehicles within close proximity to the hospital will experience a noticeable, dappled shift in color and transparency as they move across the hospital grounds, while motorists driving along W. Michigan Street will experience a faster, gradient color shift which changes depending on their direction of travel.

© Serge Hoeltschi

To facilitate the effect, a total of 18 different panels sizes/angles are used throughout.  They range from 300mm tall x 600mm long to 300mm  tall x 1m long.  There approximately 7,000 of these panels.  The color scheme is quite simple as the west side received a deep blue color, while the east side receives a golden yellow color.  The angles, alone, create the illusion of different hues.

(18.5m H x 75m W x 1.5m D)

© Serge Hoeltschi
* Location to be used only as a reference. It could indicate city/country but not exact address.
Cite: "Parking Structure Art Facade / Urbana" 15 Aug 2014. ArchDaily. Accessed 25 May 2015. <>
  • Vat

    This is amazing, we need more architects like urbana.

  • vahid

    imagine if those had been mirror…

  • Chad S,

    Exceptionally cool concept and execution. Hats off to the design group and the owner for footing the bill. I hope it is an enduring showpiece for the city for decades to come. Though I would like to see a kinetic version of the same someday.

  • Rizky Muzakir

    It’s underwhelming, it should be like the cooling tower in Singapore’s Marina Bay Sand: wind blows the facade creating a ripple-like effect. This facade is static, it should be dynamic.

    • Tsukiyo

      Moving or static, its a subjective matter. The “wind art” is a little busy to me, because you cannot control it, the wind moves it for you. Meanwhile this static form is under your control, it makes you move around to see what’s the difference, the interaction is what make this special. Just like those two face cards I had as a kid, you play around with it. Both have their pros and cons.