The Garage in the Garden
June 15, 2012
The greatest fun about superhero/supervillain lairs is that they are typically situated within a natural landscape, marvels of engineering wholly concealed from prying eyes under a veil of trees, stone, and flora. In most cases, the intervention is more wholesale demolition than strategic programming and integration, with the land and its contents being reduced to a thin green carpet draped over the elaborate structures lurking just beneath its surface. Which, of course, just adds to the sinister ambiance.
The “garagenatelier” by Swiss firm Peter Kunz Architektur definitely has something sinister about it. The project, a submerged parking complex/trophy case for the client’s Porsche collection, consists of five concrete apertures embedded into the side of a hill that overlooks a small alpine village. Each of the enclosures is faced with a full-height glazed panel that exposes the vehicles to the exterior and which, when retracted, allow entry to the garage’s interior.
The partially submerged facility is lit mostly by natural sunlight which pours in from the large glass openings, but is also supplemented with fluorescent bars that add to the interior’s clinical aesthetic. The garage can store up to eight vehicles at once, the order and arrangement of which can be changed at any time. At night, each of the featured cars is lit with special mood lighting, the inhabitants of the hamlet below resting peacefully under the glowing auspices of German automotive engineering.