Who’s better than Success Parking to tell us about parking garages? Success Parking led by Tsahi Merkur presents: the most peculiar parking lots in the world.
Parking lots tend to be architectural extras. Minimalistic and practical, they rarely offer more than the basic covering of vehicles for other more artistic structures. It is a cost a developer normally doesn’t like, but it is an essential evil to make his project a success.
On the other hand, as urban centers grow and as transportation technologies adapt, the role as well as function of parking garages should be reshaped.
Take for example the Car Silos at the Autostadt, located in Wolfsburg, Germany; this unique parking space is actually a car-themed amusement park that consists of a car museum, driving courses, car-factory tours and twenty-story car storage towers.
European Volkswagen customers can choose to pick up their vehicles from the robotic car silo instead of the dealership. In addition, the automation ensures they will get a car with a mileage-meter that reads zero. After spending a day enjoying this marvelous amusement park, buyers watch the central robotic arm travel up the tower and select their car from the large collection of vehicles.
Another interesting parking garage is Umihotaru, the Floating Car Park, situated in Tokyo, Japan. Built on an artificial island, Umihotaru (which means “sea firefly” in Japanese) is a real tourists’ magnet. It offers panoramic views of Tokyo and serves as a repose stop on the aqua-line, the country’s longest underwater excavate, which took 11.2 billion dollars and thirty years to build.
Why is it unique:
Umihotaru is formed in the shape of a cruise liner—and has all the sevices of one: Shops, cafes and public art are many of the reasons why people will drive here without necessarily planning to actually drive through the underwater tunnel.
An additional curiosity is a parking complex in Marina City in Chicago. Opened in 1964, the parking lot is the lowest part of two identical towers that are located on a small town square in the center of the city. The towers originally included a music hall, many retail stores, an ice skating ring and a bowling place.
Why is it unique:
The parking part of the towers is self-contained: The first third of the 65-story towers is a continuous upwards leading spiral parking complex with space for 896 cars in each tower. The parking towers became famous due to the 1979 feature film “The Hunter”, the star of which was Steve McQueen. Mcqueen, acting as bounty hunter, is leading a high-speed car chase upwards one of
the parking spirals. After chasing the suspect to the top, McQueen’s target loses steering of a 1980 Pontiac and the car slides out of the tower and drowns in the Chicago River right next to the towers.