Used in their millions by motorists on a daily and nightly basis, car parks are rarely the focus of architectural awards, as they prioritise functionality over aesthetic quality. However, there are several car parks that go against the grain and display unique and interesting designs, and this article will look into them.
Car Silos at the Autostadt
This is a particularly unusual car park, as it is situated in the Autostadt – an automotive-themed amusement park owned by Volkswagen. These 20 story silos also serve as a vending machine of sorts – customers can choose to pick up their new car from the silo instead of a dealership, whereupon a robotic arm will select the car and bring it down to them.
1111 Lincoln Road
Designed by world-famous architects Herzog & de Meuron, designers of the Bird’s Nest stadium for Beijing’s 2008 Olympics. Costing $70 million to create, it is referred to as a ‘parking sculpture’, and combines 300 parking spaces with retail outlets and even a rooftop restaurant. Each floor makes use of natural light, and is designed to offer panoramic views of Miami’s incredible skyline.
Umihotaru, the Floating Car Park
The name Umihotaru translates to ‘sea firefly’ – a unique name for a unique example of design and construction. Built on an artificial island, it sits on the Aqua Line – Japan’s longest underwater tunnel, which cost over $11 billion and 30 years to construct. The car park is designed in the shape of a cruise liner, and it features shops, art displays and cafes, so it serves as a tourist attraction in itself.
Eureka Car Park
Using clever chalk drawings, graphic designer Axel Peemoeller created an interesting and fun design for directional signs in a Melbourne car park. The 3D drawings look odd and out of shape at first, but when viewed from the correct perspective, the 3D effect makes it seem like the cars are driving straight into the signs themselves.
The above are just a few of the more exciting and interesting car parks in the world, but there are plenty more that go beyond the normal concrete structures that we are used to seeing.
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