For Architectural Digest, by Eric Allen.
Parking garages, arguably the most mundane of all the civic structures, usually skew heavily toward the functional end of the architecture spectrum. There are some, however, that buck the trend with downright artful designs which prompt us to rethink what role these buildings can play in our lives. Parking can be a pleasure when it’s in a Brutalist masterpiece or a space whose facade features paintings of our most beloved novels. AD rounds up a selection of the strangest, most innovative, and most beautiful parking structures around the world by the likes of such luminaries as Herzog & de Meuron, Bertrand Goldberg and more.
Welbeck Street Garage (London)
This 1971 parking garage in London was designed in a Brutalist style by Michael Blampied and Partners for the department store Debenhams on Oxford Street.
1111 Lincoln Road (Miami)
Completed in 2010, this parking garage in South Beach, Miami was designed to look like a house of cards by Swiss architectural firm Herzog & de Meuron.
Marina Towers (Chicago)
Known as Marina City, these two iconic scalloped-edge towers by Bertrand Goldberg are residential buildings in Chicago, but the lower sections of each serve as parking for the inhabitants above.
Santa Monica Civic Parking Structure (Santa Monica, California)
This colorful building by Moore Ruble Yudell Architects is the Santa Monica Civic Parking Structure, built in 2008 as the nation's first LEED-certified parking garage.
Parc des Celestins (Lyon, France)
This underground parking garage in Lyon, France is the Parc des Celestins. Designed by Michel Targe and Jean-Michel Wilmotte, this structure can be viewed through a kaleidoscope from the town square above.
Kansas City Library Garage (Kansas City, Missouri)
The public library in Kansas City, Missouri boasts a parking garage completed in 2004 that resembles a shelf of classic literature.
Autostadt (Wolfsburg, Germany)
Comprised of two towers, the Autostadt in Wolfsburg, Germany is a parking and car storage facility for a Volkswagen factory. Customers receive their new car after a robotic arm retrieves it for them.
New Carrollton Parking Garage (New Carollton, Maryland)
This parking facility in New Carollton, Maryland is anchored by a column covered in a colorful glass mosaic artist Heidi Lippman in collaboration with architect Ben Van Dusen.
St. Louis Garage (St. Louis, Missouri)
Located in St. Louis, Missouri, this concrete parking garage is adds mid-century style to the cityscape with its corkscrew design.
More from Architectural Digest: