Text description provided by the architects. The Green Square Parking Deck is a nine-level parking structure that is an integral part of the redevelopment of a full city block in the downtown government complex of Raleigh, NC. The development includes the parking deck, a museum, and an office building. The deck was designed to accommodate 900 parking spaces for visitors and employees of the State of North Carolina.
Urbanistically, the parking deck is positioned to reinforce the street edges and to comply with the City of Raleigh’s “Livable Streets” initiative. The parking deck is conceived as a concrete frame wrapped in an enclosure screen of vertical fins. These fins, or solar blades, allow air and light to penetrate the deck, while also offering a dynamic façade to pedestrians and passengers in passing vehicles. The fins are thought of as a curtain, in some cases being pulled back where openings are desired.
To anchor the parking structure to the site and the adjacent buildings, the cladding transitions at the ground to a solid base of precast concrete. Stair and elevator towers are located along the street edge and major intersections to provide pedestrians with visible and safe access. Extensive glazed curtain walls provide transparency and weather protection to the vertical circulation. Canopies extend horizontally from the structure to protect pedestrians along the sidewalk and indicate access points for both pedestrians and vehicles. A built-in bench and covered waiting plaza are also provided.
The project incorporates several sustainable design strategies. A photovoltaic array is located above the top parking level, supplying collected solar energy directly into the power grid. Enough energy is collected to power 3000 homes per year. Rainwater is collected and stored in a cistern to be used for irrigation of the State Capitol grounds. Both the cistern and the PV array are expressed as architectural elements. The PV array doubles as a sunshade for the top level of parking, which is typically exposed to direct sun and the elements. The cistern is located at a prominent corner where the solar blades have been pulled back to reveal it.
Additional sustainability features include: LED lighting with dedicated light sensors; natural ventilation; recycled-content materials including concrete, steel and aluminum; covered bicycle parking; and charging stations for electric cars.