For every car that drives on the road, we need to find a place to put it- but are parking garages the answer? Parking garages are often seen as the antithesis of people-friendly urban planning. Large gray boxes are used solely to store cars that make temporary visits and seem like a poor use of space, especially in cities where land comes at a premium. Because of these garages, urban cores have quickly been transformed into parking districts, where vehicle storage dominates the aesthetic of a business district. Building codes only contribute to the problem, where the number of spaces is passed down as a mandate, even spreading out into suburban areas. Parking garages are everywhere- flanking shopping malls, connecting to residential towers, and surrounding sporting venues.
Parking Garages: The Latest Architecture and News
Exploring the History and Future of Parking Garage Designs
Curb Appeal: Choosing the Right Residential Garage Door
In residential architecture, the garage is a space that is mainly used for storage and car parking. Although the garage door is usually not a very thought-out part of the design of a residential project, it often occupies a large part of the front elevation of a house, and can play an important role in its general curb appeal.
The garage door is typically a large door that is opened manually or by an electric motor, and its size and design are determined by the vehicles that will need to pass through it. Raynor, a North American company that specializes in garage doors, describes several of the most important factors that go into choosing the right garage door.
From Empty Grids to Interactive Playgrounds: Parking Lots and their Evolving Identities
In theory, parking spaces serve only one function: park a car safely until it is used again, and in terms of design, car garages are flexible and straightforward, requiring minimal design interventions. However, parking spaces nowadays are no longer considered one-function buildings. The emptier the space, the more potential it has to integrate additional functions. Architects and urban planners have redefined traditional parking lots, adding recreational and commercial facilities to the structure. Instead of a typical structured grid plan with yellow and white markings on the floor, we are now seeing inviting structures that incorporate green facades and rooftop playgrounds, car washes, cafeterias, and work/study zones.
The New Cool in Parking Garage Design
Parking garages present an aesthetic challenge to even the most creative design minds. Their vast scale and monotonous appearance are necessitated by function, but result in the difficulty of making the garages visually interesting instead of simply overbearing. Cladding a parking garage in a unique material can add visual interest and texture to achieve a more human connection. However, this in turn creates concerns about still bringing light and air into the garage.
Transforming the Parking Garages of Today Into the Housing of Tomorrow
Are you in the market for a new home? If so, you may want to consider looking at a former parking garage, because they just might be the next place where developers are looking to build. In the United States alone, there are more than 500 million parking spots for 326 million citizens, covering approximately 2,500 square miles of land. Despite the push for a "car-free" future, more of these structures keep springing up across the country. If cities are building parking garages to support the need for the cars of today, how might we rethink their design so they can outfit the autonomous vehicle ambitions of tomorrow?