You know those ugly parking garages, the ones that resemble bunkers with openings like toothless mouths? Well, they’re getting a makeover.
Call it carchitecture – the high art of parking garage design – and it’s in the works on Miami Beach and doing the work are preeminent, prize-winning architects. They include Rem Koolhaas and Frank Gehry, winners of the Pritzker Prize- the Novel Prize of architecture – and Zaha Hadid, recipient of the Stirling Prize, the Royal Institute of British Architects coveted commendation for excellence in architecture. http://modenook.com/art-critic-in-national/twin-towers-redux
Mind you, we’re not only talking about privately owned garages for high-cost condos. Hadid is tackling a municipal parking garage. And Gehry already has finished a steel-mesh parking garage aglow after dark with multicolored LED lights at the New World Center concert hall.
And get this innovation for a 4-story garage: automated parking. The way it works is you drop your car off on a robotic platform that lifts it up and away to a parking spot. No muss, no fuss. Lucky Miami Beach.
Sarasota is lucky, too. A new downtown parking facility has been transformed into a visual event with aluminum sail-like forms attached to the exterior. What you get, then, is a kind of serviceable sculpture the way the Sunshine Skyways spans Tampa Bay with its triangular-shaped cable stays that also suggest sails.
Wait, there’s more: The blank walls of the Sarasota structure shift to fields of vision full with imagery of Sarasota arts and circus history.
Carchitecture has also found a home in Berlin, Germany, in this case in condo towers. Cars are kept out of sight and I don’t mean garaged.
Would you believe private balcony parking? Residents simply drive from the street onto an elevator that takes them to their floor, where they cruise straight onto their balcony. And if you’re a two-car family, bring ‘em on. Plenty of room, even for three cars!
Think of it. No more hauling groceries from a parking garage. No more worrying about scratches on your car. No more walking through bleak, dark spaces.
What’s more, these terraces have gardens, so cars are hidden from the street. You also get a choice in how discreetly or showily you want your car to be seen from indoors – either secreted by the bedroom or in full view in the living room and either behind glass or an opaque wall.
And to make your life still easier, you don’t even have to press an elevator button. A computer-controlled transponder will recognize your car and automatically take you to your floor, where you tool to your terrace.
One more amenity goes with all this. To avoid elevator waits, you can pre-program the elevator to pick you up at specific times. And hey, if the elevator isn’t working, you get a “mobility guarantee” — expense-free cab rides.
This is no pie in the sky idea. Plans are in the works for condos with private terrace parking in other German cities and yes, the United States. Stay tuned.