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Hidden Parking Garage


sunshine

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Here in Charlotte we have one parking deck in particular that I like, called Seventh Street Station. This 10-level deck has a grocery store and two restaurants at ground-level, along with interactive lights along the building. It's an attractive alternative to the usually ugly parking deck, and it's much better than the 5+ surface lots it is (in essence) replacing.

7thstreetstation.jpg

brixx.jpg

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In a city that is clearly auto-dependent, this seems like the best option for attempting to build a core with as few surface lots as possible. And let's face it, even with lightrail and the continuing evolution of mass transit in Charlotte, the city will always be an auto-dependent city. I hope to see more decks like this one built, rather than, say, the rather bland IJL deck.

I also like the way the deck has been incorporated into South Tryon Square and Courtyard Hotel. The deck is actually sandwiched between ground-level retail and the hotel above it, very clever. You barely even realize there's a deck up there.

courtyard.jpg

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The guests at that hotel always get confused....as the Lobby is on the ground floor and the first floor of the hotel is about 100 or so feet up...they always complain that the elevators take a long time to get to the first floor of the hotel....not realizing they are actually travelling about 6 floors up to get to the first floor.

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The Boston Common Garage under Boston Common has a very delicate engineering that keeps the water table (which is several inches below ground) from shooting the entire structure up through the ground. In essense, without proper pumping and weighting, the structure would float on the water table, making it a surface structure.

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Those are some interesting solutions to the problem of parking garages in cities. Unfortunately they are a necessary evil. In Detroit, we don't have any problems with building paraking garages underground. In fact, there are quite a few underground garages. The only problem is that they are very costly to build, so more often than not, we end up with some ugly 10 story parking deck. But I'd rather have a 10 floor parking deck than 10 surface lots...especially if that parking deck has street level retail in it.

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I don't think there's a problem with building underground decks here in Charlotte (I know of a few, actually, although they probably don't run very deep), but the main issue is how expensive underground decks are.

But a deck is only a bad thing because we generally accept that they will be big, ugly, monstrous structures. If we tidy them up and make them more functional at ground level, I really don't have a huge problem with them.

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Yeah, parking garages can be attractive. Unfortunately, more often than not, that is not the case. Things seem to be improving however. Some rather nice parking structures have gone up in many cities recently. And they're even better when they include a street-level retail component.

The underground garages in Detroit don't run very deep either. I think the water table is probably pretty high because the Detroit River is nearby. Plus, the deeper you dig, the more costly it becomes. So any underground parking structures more than a few levels deep are cost prohibitive in most, if not all cases.

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  • 1 month later...

Some nice examples there people.

I notice in OZ that Sydney is still putting them underground for high-risers but Melbourne is making a feauture out of them in above ground bases/podiums. Either way is good but I'm sure it's less-espensive to keep them above ground than digging quite deep foundations.

Often I've wondered why a bare concreted uncolor-coded boring old brutal multi-storey parking station isn't covered in creeping vines, similar to what sunshine posted.

Beside the necessary fume vents, making an artwork out of otherwise would be a slab on the corner. Royal Domain Towers, Melbourne (render):

winport1_07c.jpg

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That's a valid point woldawg54. I guess generally it would suit them, but not always. They also need to be constantly maintined so that the creepers let the fumes out and natural light in. The maintenance would be hard to enforce in many cases.

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