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March 7, 2023
Originally published by Ron Nyren on February 11, 2023, for UrbanLand Magazine.
Parking was supposed to be obsolete by now, with millions of autonomous vehicles roaming the roads and private car ownership plummeting. As long as tech companies’ self-driving dreams await fruition, parking structures are still the best way to house vehicles en masse, but they do not have to be monolithic concrete blots on the landscape. Architects are transforming them into works of art with innovative facades, using glazing to enhance visibility in the surrounding area at night and incorporating alternative energy and stormwater management systems. Creative bicycle parking solutions encourage the use of alternative forms of transportation while enhancing the public realm.
The following 10 projects—all completed during the past five years—include a parking structure beneath a canal, aluminum skins that double as works of public art, a kinetic mesh of polycarbonate, an undulating landscape that harbors bicycles under its hills, and a car-handling facility that serves as a canvas for artists’ digital light installations.
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