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Auto Erotica: 10 Incredible Parking Garage Designs

Parking Garage Design – In cities throughout the world, the design of parking garages seems to be an afterthought.  While commercial and residential structures are given careful, thoughtful designs, concrete parking garages appear brutally functional in contrast.  However, things are changing in the world of parking garage design.  To celebrate the future of how we park, here are 10 of the most amazing parking garages in the modern world.

Autostadt Automated Parking Garage Towers

The Autostadt CarTowers in Wolfsburg, Germany look to be the work of science fiction.  In this pair of giant garages, cars are lifted and placed into a 20-story matrix by swift robotic ushers.  You won’t find pedestrians in this garage, only new Volkswagen cars produced at the company’s headquarters.  If you’re lucky to visit Autostadt, you can take a ride in these towers upon the robotic arms yourself in a safe glass cube.  Whatever you do, just don’t look down…

Autostadt Towers Gallery

1111 Lincoln Road by Herzog de Meuron

Quite possibly the world’s most beautiful parking garage, this amazing structure in Miami, Florida is also one of the world’s newest.  The 1111 Lincoln Road parking garage was completed in 2010 by Herzog & de Meuron Architekten, a progressive Swiss architecture firm.  1111 Licoln Road’s design features a series of parking slats varied by height, connected by angular concrete beams.  The garage is also home to shops on the bottom level and an office at its peak.  In a city so diverse in its architectural identity, 1111 Lincoln Road is a welcome addition.  The photos here were captured by Nelson Garrido, a friend of TheCoolist.

1111 Lincoln Road Gallery

Michigan Theater Parking Garage

While the marvels of urban parking above are achievements in technology and design, the Michigan Theater Parking Garage is an homage to urban decay.  The Michigan Theater, Detroit, was once a pearl of the city’s entertainment district.  Today, the structure stands partially gutted, with its proud theater now the shell of a standard parking garage.  Park in the Michigan Theater, you’ll see the history of a forgotten city, a landmark of the peak of the industrial revolution.  If you like this kind of thing as much as we do, you’ll love to read more on our list of abandoned places: 10 creepy, beautiful modern ruins.

Michigan Theater Parking Garage Gallery

Car Park One Oklahoma City

While it may appear unassuming at first glance, the Car Park One of Oklahoma City was named 2010’s best design by the International Parking Institute.  The goal of Elliott and Associates Architects was to construct a garage that did not appear to be a parking structure, and to hide the cars within by employing a translucent mesh skin.  The city code demanded that at least 20% of the structure be open for purposes of air safety, and the mesh skin met this code with 25% open to air.  That skin takes on different colors as the sun rises and sets, reflecting yellow, blue, orange and purple to its environment.

Car Park One Gallery

Eureka Carpark Melbourne

The wild mix of paint colors takes on a functional character based on your position in the Eureka Carpark Melbourne.  Designer Axel Peemoeller developed a “way-finding-system” that gives directions to the garage’s visitors as they make their way through its interior.  Long lines of color merge to form words as you approach the exit, showing “OUT” in red.  “UP” is shown in blue, right as the driver begins to approach a ramp.  To make sense of it, check out the gallery below to see what a driver sees as they traverse Eureka Carpark.

Eureka Carpark Melbourne Gallery

Mountain Dwellings by BIG Architects

The Mountain Dwellings, Copenhagen are no stranger to TheCoolist.  We featured this building on our list of 10 Masterpieces of Urban Housing Design, and a close look at this structure will reveal why.  Bjarke Ingels, one of today’s most progressive architects, designed the Mountain Dwellings to provide a suburban lifestyle within an urban environment.  He and his team at BIG did so by organizing the parking structure below the dwellings on an angle, giving a terraced feel to the homes above.  Each of the homes above has its own garden, with no one home able to see into another.  The parking section is stunning from within, full of bright colors and wrapped in a rasterized painting of a mountain.

Mountain Dwellings Gallery

Glass Pavilion House Garage by Steve Hermann

While municipal and urban housing garages can be beautiful, what about the garages on a grand scale at home?  The Glass Pavilion House by Steve Hermann features a large garage below that is well stocked with classic cars.  This long, pavilion-style home provides clean, open space for the owner’s car collection that is enclosed in floor-to-ceiling glass and stone colored walls.  This garage is as much a museum as it is a parking structure, as you won’t find anything but the vehicles themselves on display in this car park.

Glass Pavilion House Gallery

Greenway Self Park by HOK

The Greenway Self Park in Chicago works to harness the city’s legendary wind to help power its utilities.  Designed by HOK, Greenway Self Park features pairs of corkscrew wind turbines that extend from its base to its roof, collecting wind gusts as they push their way through the streets.  If you’ve ever walked around a downtown corner during a Chicago winter, you know just how powerful that force can be.  Beyond the turbines, this garage also features natural rainwater collection systems and electric car charging stations for next generation drivers.

Greenway Self Park Gallery

Veranda Car Park by Paul de Ruiter

Architect Paul de Ruiter gave the Veranda Car Park a sense of futurism in his design.  This steel, aluminum and mirrored-glass structure provides space for 650 cars and ground-level retail.  It was designed to merge with its Rotterdam skyline while representing a move to the next generation of Dutch architecture.  Instead of concrete brutalism, de Ruiter has embraced metal and minimalism for the city of Rotterdam.

Veranda Car Park Gallery

Santa Monica Civic Center Parking Garage

The Santa Monica Civic Center Parking Garage is the world’s first LEED-certified garage, and one of the world’s most visually progressive.  Its stunning facade is lit with an offset array of colored light, in blue, green and red.  Photovoltaic panels and laminations provide much of the buildings power needs, while natural ventilation takes care of climate control.  The materials for this building include many recycled sources and low-impact treatments, constructed with sustainable development practices.  Beyond its green heartbeat, the beauty of this garage makes it memorable, one of the highlights of Santa Monica’s architectural identity.

Santa Monica Civic Center Gallery

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What is your favorite parking garage from this list?  Is there a garage in your city that deserves our attention?  Share it in the comments below.  In the mean time, be sure to like TheCoolist on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, and check out these other interesting features below: