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tamias6

Converting Parking Ramps to Other Uses

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We here on the GR forums have a never ending list of complaints about the excessive number of parking ramps in the core. The Latest target of our rants is the 2,000+ car parking ramp that has been tucked under the Medical Towers under construction on Pill Hill. But for all the ranting we do the parking ramps are not going away any time soon.

However let's turn negative into positive. The Parking ramps in the core are structures non the less. In fact they are most likely engineered more strongly than real buildings to support the weight of all the vehicles inside. In fact they are basically buildings lacking window glazing, and interiors. That in mind is it possible to convert at least portions of the parking ramps into other uses such as office, retail, residential, etc.? Are there any examples of conversions out there?

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The concern, in many cases, would probably be the sloping floors. Not all parking ramps are sloping on every floor, but every one slopes for a good portion of the floor's area. I am interested to see if anybody has a method to get around this.

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Lots of stairs. ;)

I could see the ground floor or top floor having space converted, but I don't know about a whole ramp. It Would be interesting to see if somebody has converted one.

Joe

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I have a feeling that id would be chaeper just to doze a ramp and build something new in its place than it would be to try to convert it to some other use.

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The concern, in many cases, would probably be the sloping floors. Not all parking ramps are sloping on every floor, but every one slopes for a good portion of the floor's area. I am interested to see if anybody has a method to get around this.

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In addition to the problem of sloped sections, most ramps have about 10' between floors and only about 7' from the floor to the bottom of some of the beams that support the floor above. There aren't many uses that will accept 7' ceiling heights.

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It seems possible if you did a bunch of terracing or something. Maybe some sort of warehouse (like the fully robotic ones) could retrofit it and not worry about the slops.

You never know what can be set up. My concern would be getting the utilities through the building. Lots and lots of drilling holes and drilling to attach everything else to the all concrete interior. It can be done.

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One of things that made me thought of the possibilities of converting parking ramps to other purposes is the Guggenheim in New York City. The spiral shape gives the galleries sloped floors.

Guggenheim-Museum-1.jpg

Also here is a couple of shots of the Seattle Library. Instead of having stairs alone this building's floor plan is a continuous spiral very much like many of the ramps in DT GR.

Interior Shot

SeattleLibrary.jpg

Exterior Shot

seattle_library.jpg

Website Showing more exterior and interior shots as well as diagrams of the buildings layout.

http://www.arcspace.com/architects/koolhaas/Seattle/

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Some temporary uses might include a farmer's or artist market. It is covered and it is vacant on the weekends. Another spot might be below the highways...

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We here on the GR forums have a never ending list of complaints about the excessive number of parking ramps in the core. The Latest target of our rants is the 2,000+ car parking ramp that has been tucked under the Medical Towers under construction on Pill Hill. But for all the ranting we do the parking ramps are not going away any time soon.

However let's turn negative into positive. The Parking ramps in the core are structures non the less. In fact they are most likely engineered more strongly than real buildings to support the weight of all the vehicles inside. In fact they are basically buildings lacking window glazing, and interiors. That in mind is it possible to convert at least portions of the parking ramps into other uses such as office, retail, residential, etc.? Are there any examples of conversions out there?

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Some temporary uses might include a farmer's or artist market. It is covered and it is vacant on the weekends. Another spot might be below the highways...

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I don't care for the exterior myself. I just threw it in because of the interior floor plan being based on a continuous spiral configuration much like a parking ramp.

:sick:

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I realize this is rather off topic, but the discussion of changing the function of various structures triggered my memory. In Lethbridge, Alberta, a developer accomplished a very unique conversion - turning a former water tower into a very nice restaurant. Here is a link to a picture of what they did

http://www.lethbridge.ca/NR/rdonlyres/AD0E...rtowerlarge.jpg

To my knowledge this was the first ever such conversion in North America.

I was remembering from my many years of living in GR that there were several of this type of water tower in the area that are no longer in use. Anyone care to try it in GR?

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Downtown Akron has a hotel built into former Quaker Oats grain silo's. Talk about thinking outside the box.

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I agree that it probably would just be easier to wreck the structure and start over. Plus unless you are talking about a ramp with the exterior of GVSU's Pew Campus, would you really want to salvage the outer shell anyway?

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