Mostly sloppy solutions to a basic need, parking structures don’t get a reputation for being a thing of beauty. The good news is that a few architects are upping the ante, determined to make the ugly parking lot a thing of the past. The seven parking solutions here include a hospital garage that never looks alike, a house with a stunning gated parking lot that speaks to its architectural language, a tennis court that hides a Batcave-worthy car collection, and a facade diamond-shaped openings spreading the light like a lantern.
1. Company: Elliott Associates Architects
Project: Parking lot 4 for Chesapeake Energy Corporation
Location: Oklahoma City
Stand out: The fourth in a series of peerless car parks for Chesapeake Energy Corporation, Car Park 4 conceals nearly 1,500 parking spaces within a striking structure defined by colored tube lighting and aluminum extrusions. The white aluminum trellis seems to shift as you pass it, while a veil of aluminum stretched over structural concrete becomes a play of light and shadow. The entrance gates are distinguished by
2. Company: Vardastudio
Project: Residence Desi
Location: Tala, Cyprus
Stand out: Surrounding a parking area, vertical wooden louvers provide shade and security to this hilltop home, in stark contrast to the whitewashed concrete bulk of the living space. Instead of a bulky addition, the parking area becomes essential to the language of the structure, which slopes down to soak up panoramic sea views to the south.
3. Company: Urban Studio
Project: Covered parking for Eskenazi Hospital
Stand out: A field of 7,000 angled metal panels with an east/west color scheme creates a dynamic facade system for the Eskenazi Hospital car park. Painted a deep blue on one side and golden yellow on the other, the metal panels vary in size and
4. Companies: Pohl Rosa Pohl (facade); Walter P. Moore (structural renovation)
Project: Garage Helix
Location: Lexington, Kentucky
Stand out: Instead of demolishing this 1966 building, long considered an eyesore, local architectural firm Pohl Rosa Pohl designed a new facade based on a system of suspended, perforated steel panels. Each of the three layers has a different panel shape, with the two inner layers playing off the outer layer. At night is when the faceplate really comes to life, with the LED backlight changing color to display a theatrical light show. The LEDs can also be programmed for colors suitable for local events and holidays.
5. Companies: IwamotoScott Architecture with Leong Leong and artist John Baldessari
Project: Garage with city view
Stand out: Challenged to create a ventilated parking structure without air conditioning for a mixed-use building that also included office and commercial space, IwamotoScott Architecture wrapped the main corner of the garage with a digitally fabricated metal screen. Folded aluminum modules create diamond-shaped openings for air. At night, the light spreads with a lantern-like glow.
6. Company: Molecule
Project: Wayne Residence
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Stand out: A traditional-style brick house hides a stylish parking area, suitable for a superhero, according to the architects, under a grass cover installed in the tennis court. Ceramic floor tiles and an illuminated ceiling grid create a Batcave-worthy backdrop for the owner’s car collection.
7. Company: 5468796 Architecture
Location: Winnipeg, Canada
Stand out: Sometimes the best parking design is the one you can’t see. In this 18-unit development, vehicle access and parking for residents are discreetly integrated into a shared plaza—