The parking garage: a loveless structure as necessary as it is unpopular. It can be easy for the architecture to reflect the unfancied nature, but sometimes, amidst all the mediocrity, beautiful design shines through.
Airport parking site Looking4.com has relaunched their award for the World’s Coolest Car Park, first published in 2013, that showcases some of the most innovative parking structures from around the world. Below is the 10 building shortlist—which one do you think deserves to take home the award?
Project descriptions via looking4.com:
Brisbane Airport Kinetic Parking (Australia)
Designed by American artist Ned Kahn, this eight-story car park’s exterior is made up of 118,000 suspended aluminum panels which appear to ripple as the wind hits it. The innovative design also provides natural ventilation for the interior.
Victoria Gate Multi Storey (Leeds, UK)
The vibrant, urban multi-story car park is found at Leeds’ £165m Victoria Gate shopping center and takes architectural inspiration from the city’s history. The twisted aluminum fin cladding creates a diagrid pattern emphasized by the shadows generated.
Garagenatelier Car Park (Herdern, Switzerland)
This exclusive car park, designed by Swiss company Peter Kunz Architects, only has enough space for just eight vehicles. The beton cubes are embedded into the sloping mountainside, creating a juxtaposition of nature and the geometric concrete structures.
Cliniques Universitaires Saint Luc (Belgium)
Made from natural materials the car park is designed to be as welcoming as possible for visitors to the nearby hospital. The ‘canyon-wall’ provides an abundance of light, even on the underground floors plus natural ventilation for its 985 cars.
AZ Sint-Lucas Car Park (Ghent, Belgium)
This open-design car park is distributed over the space of two buildings, each surrounded in white metal balustrades with thousands of small geometric perforations. Exclusively native flowers on different levels help to brighten the space.
Quick Parking Morelli Car Park (Naples, Italy)
Located in the center of Naples, close to the main tourist attractions, the car park built inside an existing cave with a historic tunnel that connects 2 different parts of the city. The car park is built across seven levels and accessed via three tunnels.
2KM3 at Saint Gervais (Mont Blanc, France)
An underground car park with an eye-catching difference, 2KM3 is dedicated to urban contemporary art. Its name acts as an abbreviation of the measurement of wall/ceiling space given to a dozen international artists to decorate in their own unique styles (2,000m³).
Sinking Ship Multi Storey (Seattle, USA)
The unique shape of this multi-story car park, with decks sloping in the opposite direction to the hill, gives it the name ‘Sinking Ship’. The four-floor garage was part of a neighborhood redesign in the '60s, standing in front of the Smith Tower and former Seattle Hotel.
RAI Convention Centre (Amsterdam)
With a capacity of 1,000 cars, the building also doubles as a flexible space for conventions and exhibitions. A pair of 30-meter spiraling ramps with blue LEDs around the curved edges light up the building with an eye-catching, helix-shaped entrance and exit.
Al Jahra Court Automatic Parking (Kuwait)
With 2,314 spaces, this car park holds a Guinness World Record for the ‘Largest Automated Parking Facility’. The bays designed by Robotic Parking Systems Inc. save over 3 times the space of a normal car park, with a car retrieval time of approx 177 seconds.