Parking structures, though incredibly useful, are not usually held up as pinnacles of architecture and design. It’s rare to see a parking garage that deviates from the traditional, brutalist facade and standard “Double Helix” ramps. Most “starchitects” focus their talents on museums, libraries, airports or towers. However, there are a few parking garages across the world that are breaking that trend and changing the face of parking. These structures exhibit innovative and intriguing design, and we’re showcasing 5 of our favorites here.
The Autostadt Car Towers (Wolfsburg, Germany)
It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that these parking structures are an attraction.These Car Towers are a part of the Autostadt visitor center adjacent to the Volkswagen factory in Wolfsburg, Germany. These fully-automated, high-rise stacks have the capacity to hold 400 vehicles each, and the cylindrical steel frames allow you to see into the interior of the structures. You can marvel at these impressive, futuristic parking towers here.
The Community Bookshelf (Kansas City, Missouri)
Completely different in style but equally impressive in impact is the Community Bookshelf lining the Kansas City Central Library’s parking garage. The garage resembles a colorful bookshelf, and 22 massive book spines face the street. You could park in a towering replica of Plato’s Republic or The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn — just try not to be too intimidated by these literary giants. Check out this whimsical parking structure here.
Umihotaru: The Floating Car Park (Tokyo, Japan)
Forget a parking garage: how about a parking island? This truly unique parking structure in Japan is just that. The five level parking garage sits on an artificial island completely surrounded by water. Umihotaru makes parking an experience: you can leave your car and enjoy shopping, restaurants and panoramic views of Tokyo Bay. Click here to view the singular Floating Car Park.
Santa Monica Civic Center Parking Structure (Santa Monica, California)
This parking structure is remarkable for more than just its rainbow exterior: it’s the first LEED-certified parking garage in the country. The building reserves 14 parking spots and outlets for electric cars and space for bicycles. It was built from sustainable materials and is powered by solar panels that double as shades. This parking garage is both green and car-friendly, and you can check it out right here.
The Michigan Theatre (Detroit, Michigan)
It would be remiss of us not to mention a parking garage in Detroit. This particular structure was built upon the birthplace of the Ford automobile, so it holds incredible automotive historical significance. The building once served as an opulent, traditional theatre, concert hall and movie house. Now, it’s beautiful frescoed ceiling covers parked vehicles. Glimpse this remarkable urban relic here.
These examples clearly demonstrate that a parking garage can be a thing of beauty as well as utility. The five structures exemplify incredible and unique design. That said, these feats of architecture aren’t the only parking structures deserving of attention. Your commercial parking garage or lot may not be the Eighth Wonder of the World, but it should look its best. Contact DC Construction Services for all your parking garage and lot maintenance needs. We can help your parking structure look beautiful (if not as extravagant as the garages featured in this blog post).