Parking Lots of Miami
September 19, 2011
Urban car owners contradict every reason why cities exist in the first place. They are like so many overcompensating, iron-clad salmon swimming upstream against the currents of oil prices, financial sense, and environmental responsibility.
Yet, for all their irrationality, they still exist, and by the transitive property, so do urban car garages. Though they tend to be tucked underground or faced with mirror to parrot office buildings, Miami’s city government has taken another approach, commissioning some of the most well-known architects in the world to build its garages. Today BDOnline reports that Zaha Hadid will be the next big name to take on the typology. Read on.
Mayor Matti Bowe says that parking lots are more than just a “group of parking spaces,” and in Miami, “some have become destinations within themselves and have attained individual iconic status. Every building can be a work of art.”
More importantly, parking lots are a good deal less expensive to build than buildings – they’re basically giant concrete sculptures that pose the largest challenge for architects in design development (double helix? two-way? where to fit the extra 15 spaces?) rather than in a long-term construction document phase. Cities may not be able to afford public buildings from great architects right now, but as Miami is demonstrating, there are ways to compromise.
Here’s a few other notable garages built recently in Miami:
Arquitectonica‘s Ballet Valet Parking Garage and Retail Center in Miami Beach.
Herzog & de Mueron’s 1111 Lincoln Road (via Architectural Record).
Frank Gehry’s Pennsylvania Avenue Parking Garage, part of his New World Symphony campus.
Perkins + Will built the City Hall Annex, which includes a 7-story garage.