A closer look at surprisingly well-designed car parks
On the whole, car parks are not widely regarded as paragons of the cutting edge in design and architecture. Indeed, the vast majority of car parks are typically viewed as mundane spaces usually characterized by their collective grayness – and not much else. Fortunately, an increasing number of designers and architects from across the globe have successfully bucked this disturbing trend of dullness by designing car parks with pizzazz and personality.
Last year, FX Magazine, in collaboration with the Stress Free Airport Parking website, launched the Parking Oscars — a competition that UK-based parking service company Parking4less has rightfully acknowledged as one of the few that aim to showcase the latest innovations in car park design. The Parking Oscars have highlighted the world’s coolest car parks, with the following coming out on top of the competition:
Car Park Plaza
Based out of Canovas, Spain, the Car Park Plaza immediately stands out for its striking palette choices, manifesting as bold and daring splashes of color on the walls. Of course, the Car Park Plaza isn’t just a welcome burst of color in an otherwise purely utilitarian space. Designed by Teresa Sapey Estudio de Arquitectura, the Car Park Plaza was always meant to promote sustainability without sacrificing functionality. For instance, the neon lights inside the Car Park Plaza were not only chosen to cut down on power consumption, but also to accentuate the graphics on the walls.
Parc des Celestins
Simply put, the Parc des Celestins located in the French city of Lyon is a remarkable feat of architecture and design. Designed by Willmotte et Associes, the Parc des Celestins is situated beneath an historical square where a Knights Templar command post once stood. To solve the dilemma of getting light in what’s essentially a deep underground car park, the central core of the Parc des Celestins is a light that’s well lit from the street above. Additionally, the base of the Parc des Celestins houses a large rotating mirror that reflects and disperses the light around the seven levels of the car park. There’s even a ground-level periscope that allows passers-by the opportunity to view the cavernous space below.
Charles Street Car Park
This beloved Sheffield institution is colloquially known as “the cheese grater”, and with good reason. Designed by Allies and Morrison Architects, the Charles Street Car Park is adorned with identical metal panels angled in various directions for a completely unique look. The building’s façade could easily be mistaken for an ultra-chic and contemporary apartment block, and not an ordinary car park. The Charles Street Car Park has a current capacity of 520 parking spaces spread across ten floors with retail space at ground level.