I am not the biggest fan of the automobile within the fabric of the city. Well, that’s not entirely true.
While I am (for the most part) a walker, a lover of public transit, a bicyclist, I do appreciate the role of the car and one of its effects on urban environments: The Parking Garage. What a curious environment. What an immense landscape. What an amazing way to transform the way in which I view my home.
Modern architects can usually only dream of bending the ground plane with as much theoretical, spatial and economic sophistication as the parking garage. When you walk up a ramp, you are transported into an interstitial zone, not quite on the street, not quite “in a building.” You are instead placed within an extension to the “groundscape,” an environment that forces you to look at the very same fabric you have inhabited for years with a completely different set of eyes. Think I’m wrong? Next time there is a warm night, grab some friends and have a picnic at the top level of a parking garage.