Four Practices Re-Envision Parking in Long Island Downtowns

Parks and Rides. Image © Roger Sherman Architecture + Urban Design and the Index

Long Island’s downtowns have more than 4,000 acres of surface area dedicated to lots. That’s roughly 6.5 square miles of prime real estate, a phenomenon quite common in most American cities. When necessary, these lots are often exchanged for a standard “set of concrete shelves” that share little to no connection with their surroundings. This leads to the question, why must parking garages be so monofunctional and, well, ugly?

To help solve this nationwide issue, the Long Island Index challenged four leading architectural firms to envision a more innovative way to free up surface lot space in four Long Island communities.

See what they came up with, after the break…

Designing Parking Garages For a Car-less Future

The trend is part of a wider drive to rethink parking worldwide. Image © Architects by Rien van Rijthoven

This intriguing article on The Atlantic  highlights a growing trend as cities become more focused on pedestrians, bicycles and public transportparking garages that are designed with alternative uses in mind. Developers are ensuring that these garages have ”good bones”, such as comfortable ceiling heights, that will allow them to be easily converted into apartments or offices in a future when many city-dwellers don’t own cars. You can read the full article here.

The World’s 10 Coolest Car Parks

1111 Lincoln Road in , USA. Image © Nelson Garrido/1111Lincoln Road Shot Reprinted with permission from MBeach1, LLLP

Parking garages generally have a bad reputation – particularly now that are seen as such an environmentally unfriendly way to travel, not to mention the fact that they are often unattractive utilitarian structures. To counteract this common perception, the website Stress Free Airport Parking has launched an award for the World’s Coolest Car Park. Read on after the break to find out which 10 parking structures have been shortlisted for the top award.

Must Parking Garages Be So Ugly?

1111 Lincoln Road in Miami by Herzog & de Meuron. Image © Nelson Garrido/1111Lincoln Road Shot Reprinted with permission from MBeach1, LLLP

In his column in Providence JournalDavid Brussat questions why parking garages can’t be designed to better compliment their surroundings. He believes that these utilitarian spaces should look like they “belong in a city,” rather than resembling “a giant set of concrete shelves.” He also examines which achieve this aim – incorporating styles from Art Deco to Neo-classical – and comes to the interesting conclusion that Richmond, Virginia is the “mecca of parking decks.” You can read the full article here.

Parking Is Hell (But Designers Can Help)

1111 Lincoln Road. Image © Nelson Garrido/1111Lincoln Road Shot Reprinted with permission from MBeach1, LLLP

Most is free – but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t have a high cost. A recent podcast from Freakonomics Radio (which you can listen to at the end of this article) examined parking in US , investigating the “cost of parking not paid for by drivers” – a cost paid not just by the government, but by the environment – due to congestion and pollution caused by people searching for kerbside parking. For example, in a 15 block area of Los Angeles the distance traveled by drivers looking for parking is equivalent to one trip across the USA per day.

One potential solution which they discuss is a San Francisco project called SF Park, which makes use of sensor technology to measure the demand for parking in certain areas of the city and adjust price according to demand. In theory, this would create a small number of empty spaces on each block and dramatically reduce the time that many drivers spend cruising for parking spaces.

Though the idea is certainly an intelligent approach to the problem of kerbside parking, unsurprisingly all this talk of supply, demand and pricing sounds very much like an economist’s answer to a problem. But what can designers do to help the situation?

Perhaps, from the designer’s point of view, the real problem with kerbside parking and surface lots is that they are always seen as a provision “coupled with” a building or area of the city. There have been a number of attempts by architects – some successful and some tragically flawed – to make parking spaces less of a rupture in a city’s fabric and more of a destination in themselves. Could these point to another way?

Read about 3 examples of parking’s past, and one of its potential future, after the break…

Video: Tetris Apartments / OFIS Arhitekti

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The Tetris Apartments is a project that we already published in 2008. This is an update video courtesy of slovenian architects OFIS arhitekti. The video focuses primarily on the very geometric shapes of the facade of the building.

The International Parking Institute 2010 Awards

Car One at Chesapeake, Oklahoma City

The International Parking Institute (IPI) has announced the winners of their 2010 International Institute’s Awards of Excellence Competition. Each year, the competition recognizes world-class examples of design and program innovation.

This year’s winners reflect a parking industry trend toward sustainability with many of the projects incorporating LEED certification, energy efficient lighting, use of solar panels, advanced technologies and innovative approaches that reduce the need for more parking spaces.

To see all the winners, click here. The three awards of excellence after the break.

Multi-Level Parking voestalpine / x Architekten

© David Schreyer
© David Schreyer

Architects: x Architekten (Linz and Vienna)
Location: Linz,
Architects in Charge: David Birgmann, Bettina Brunner, Rainer Kasik, Max Nirnberger, Lorenz Prommegger
Client: voestalpine Stahl GmbH
Constructed Area: 20,700 sqm
Project Year: 2007-2008
Photographs: David Schreyer

© David Schreyer © David Schreyer © David Schreyer © David Schreyer

Veranda car park / Paul de Ruiter


Architect: Paul de Ruiter
Location: Rotterdam, Netherlands
Project Architect:
Project Team: Michael Noordam, Dieter Blok, Monique Verhoef, Willeke Smit, Sander van Veen
Client: Dienst Stadstoezicht Rotterdam & Ontwikkelingsbedrijf Rotterdam
Construction Advisor: ABT bv, adviseurs in bouwtechniek
Installations Advisor: Halmos bv
Car Advisor: Spark / Twynstra Gudde, adviseurs en managers
Building Management: Gemeentewerken Rotterdam
Urban Design: Rudy Uytenhaak Architectenbureau
Contractor: Dura Vermeer Beton- en Waterbouw bv
Constructed Area: 21,000 sqm
Project Year: 2002-2003
Construction year: 2003-2005
Photographs: Rien van Rijthoven

“Think Outside the Parking Box”, an international competition

banner_350x200Can’t ? Reduced availability and rising costs? Browsing aisle after aisle, fighting over the same spot? Got a ticket? Little aesthetic attractiveness of urban lots? As much as people love to drive, all good things must come to an end: .

Designboom and Nissan Motor Company are looking for YOUR artwork that illustrate your perception within the theme ‘Think outside the parking box’. Challenge conventional urban parking! playful enhanced parking technology, robotic facilities, safety, dynamic services, green parking … creative solutions that address urban parking problems, statements of objections, creative-innovative-and-hilarious ideas in form of videos, art- design objects and illustrations can be submitted.

Nissan Motor Company, Ltd. is currently the third largest Japanese car manufacturer. Two years ago Nissan launched Qashqai, a new breed of vehicle for the urban world. It is the first model to be styled by Nissan Design Europe in London and pioneered the crossover category in Europe. Qashqai is now Nissan’s best selling model. You are asked to include the ‘Qashqai’ or part of it (rear-view mirrors, grills, wheels, wheel caps,…) in your artwork. Application registration will be accepted from now until September 27th, 2009.

More information and registration here.

Saint Georges / Guerin & Pedroza Architectes


Architect: Guerin & Pedroza Architectes
Location: Toulouse,
Project owner: City of Toulouse (place Occitane), Altarea (shopping centre), Vinci Park (parking)
Technical design office: Ingénierie Studio (Toulouse)
Landscaper: Julie Poirel
Light designer: Roger Narboni Concepto
Urban furniture: Guérin & Pedroza
Surface area of the place: 10,000 sqm
Surface area of the shopping centre: 15,000 sqm (16,000 sqm total floor area)
Project year: 2003-2008
Photographs: Guerin & Pedroza

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Mercabarna Flor Market / WMA

Architects: Willy Müller Architects
Location: Mercabarna, Sant Boi de Llobregat, Barcelona,
Principal in Charge:
Associate Architect: Frédéric Guillaud
Project Team: Caterina Morna,Rupert Maurus (modelos 3D), Isabella Pintani, Valeria Santoni, Bruno Louzada, Francisco Villeda, Iris cantante, Marco Loperfido, Mara Cascais, Sabine Bruinink, Mario Perez Botero
Collaborators: Sérgio Pinto, Ricardo Amaral, Joana Lagès, Anne-Irène Valais, Christof Larbig, Jean-baptiste Scharffhausen, Deborah Schor, Jetske Kox, Andre Mota, Andres Ferner, Kelly Hendricks, Christian Lasch, Martin Ober-Hascher, Anja Summermatter, Kelly Klein, Gilda Camacho, Sérgio Ramos, Elke Gall
Structure Consultant: Area 5
Contractor: Iconsa
Project year: 2005/2008
Constructed Area: 15,000 sqm
Model Photographs: Adria Goula Sarda
Photographs: Jordi Puig, Ricardo Loureiro

Projects around the Royal Racecourse in Ostend / BURO II

Belgian practice BURO II designed some new projects around this historic site with a great importance to the city of Ostend. This is, amongst others, determined by its location: the proximity to the sea the Royal Galleries and the historically important Thermae Palace. The former racecourse for horse racing was turned into a collection of projects, and a crossroads of activities, which bring a new urban dynamic to ‘the queen of seaside resorts’.

Mountain Dwellings / BIG with JDS

Architects: BIG Architects
Location: Copenhagen,
Partner in Charge: Bjarke Ingles for , Julien De Smedt for JDS
Project Architect: Jakob Lange
Project Leader: Finn Nørkjær
Project Manager: Jan Borgstrøm
Construction Manager: Henrick Poulsen
Contributors: Annette Jensen, Dariusz Bojarski, Dennis Rasmussen, Eva Hviid-Nielsen, Joao Vieira Costa, Jørn Jensen, Karsten V. Vestergaard, Karsten Hammer Hansen, Leon Rost, Louise Steffensen, Malte Rosenquist, Mia Frederiksen, Ole Elkjær-Larsen, Ole Nannberg, Roberto Rosales Salazar, Rong Bin, Sophus Søbye, Søren Lambertsen, Wataru Tanaka
Collaborators: JDS/JULIEN DE SMEDT ARCHITECTS, Moe & Brødsgaard, Freddy Madsen Rådgivende Ingeniører ApS
Client: Høpfner A/S
Engineering: Moe & Brodsgaard
Construction: DS Elcobyg A/S /PH Montage
Project year: 2008
Constructed Area: 33,000 sqm
Photographs: Dragor Luft, Jacob Boserup, Jens Lindhe, Ulrik Jantzen

Retail Park “B-Park” / BURO II

Architects: BURO II & BONTINCK
Location: Bruges,
Client: NV Codic
Project Year: 2007 -2008
Constructed Area: 42.000 sqm
Photographs: Kris Vandamme

Ordino Complex / Arteks Arquitectura & Esther Pascal architect

Architect: ARTEKS Arquitectura + Esther Pascal architect
Location: Ordino, Andorra
Architects in charge: Elisabet Faura & Ester Pascal
Collaborators: Gemma Roca, Dalila Pregal, Alvaro Briceño, Malte Ruckert, Ruper Maurus, Carlos Cobreros, Cecilia Vázquez , Alex Miralles
Artistic Collaborator: Victor Pérez Porro
Structure: GETCE BEAL_ Xavier Beal Vilaginés
Utilities: Bernabé Rodriguez
Acoustics: Higini Arau
General Contractor: COIMA S.A
Constructed Area: 9,714 sqm
Photographs: Pedro Pegenaute & Eugeni Pons

Bilbao Exhibition Centre / ACXT

Architects: ACXT
Location: Bilbao,
Architect in Charge: César Azcárate (ACXT) + Esteban Rodriguez (SENER)
Project Architects: Gonzalo Carro, Raimundo Bambó, Javier Vergara, Jorge Minguet, Manuel Andrades, Marc Rips, Iñigo Arana, María Labastida, Ruth Mendoza, Javier Oteiza, Cruz Lacoma, Eloy Olabarri
Project year: 2005
Area: 450,000 sqm
Project Managment: Celos Fonseca, Javier Vergara, jon Ochoca, Javier Ruiz de Prada (IDOM + SENER)
Structural / Civil engineering: Fernando del Campo
Enviromental Engineering: Javier Aróstegui
Lighting: ALS Lighting
Photographer: Carlos Casariego

de Plussenburgh / Arons en Gelauff Architecten

Architects: Arons en Gelauff Architecten
Location: Rotterdam, Netherlands
Design Period: 2001-2006
Construction period: 2004-2006
Programme: apartments,
Client: Stichting Ouderenhuisvesting Rotterdam (SOR)
Architectural Team: Adrie Laan, Menno Mekes, Jan Bart Bouwhuis, Erik Jan Vermeulen, Hilde Gründemann, Mariska Koster, Jacco van der Linden, Felix Fassbinder, Irene Siljama
Landscape Architect: Petra Blaisse, Inside Outside
Contractor: Leendert Kool, Dura Vermeer Bouw Rotterdam B.V.
Architectural Engineer: Peter Stout, Bouwkundig adviesburo Baas B.V.
Building Physics: Frank van Dorrestein, Cauberg-Huygen
Project Management: Marcel Hogervorst, Stichting Ouderenhuisvesting Rotterdam
Budget: 15,100,000 EURO (US $23,8 millions)
Constructed Area: 15,678 sqm
Photographs: Jeroen Musch, Rob Hoekstra