Parking Garages: 5 Examples of Turning Atrocity into Artistry

exterior of several parking garages

From 2015 to 2017 the US sold more than 50 million cars, trucks, vans, and SUVs. In those three years we set a record high compared to any other three-year period in US auto sales history… Despite progress the country has made with alternatives to the personal automobile, it seems like our love affair and reliance on our own set of wheels isn’t changing any time soon.

It also means that as the A/E/C community continues to build apartments, high rise office space, hotels, stadiums and airports, one major question will continue to be asked – what are we going to do about the parking garage?

Parking garages have long been something designers feared to lock horns with. They pose many challenges such as open-air requirements, crash barriers, municipality and city requirements, and budget implications. While some architects and owners have tried to turn their backs on the garage, others have been stimulated by the bid for creativity and originality. Many firms have braved to beautify the inherent restrictions of stacked slabs of concrete and have erected cultural and aesthetically significant monuments, thereby saving their city from another urban eyesore. These designers have come to understand what Orson Welles meant when he said “the enemy of art is the absence of limitations.”

Like the architects and owners that run toward challenges and not away from them, we at Kovach are not afraid to do what has never been done before. Our maverick spirit has attracted like-minded designers and builders, and we have had the privilege to partner on projects that turn the garage into something that elevates the beauty of the local community and not bruise it.

The five following projects exemplify the opportunities and possibilities of embracing the challenges imposed by parking garages.

Marina Heights

Marina Heights sits along the banks of the Salt River as it winds through Tempe Arizona. This project is one of, if not the most significant project to be built in Tempe in recent history. With over 2 million square feet of office space across five buildings, the need for parking was tremendous. The garage screen solution consisted primarily of custom perforated aluminum plate in varying patterns. The panels were staggered to ensure air ventilation requirements were meet.

Marina Heights
Partners: Ryan Companies, Sunbelt Holdings, Davis Architecture

Boyer Pavilion Garage

The Boyer Pavilion Garage is a great example of how SmithGroupJJR utilized the shifting sunlight to create depth and variation throughout the day. The garage skin was made from perforated panels with varying angular breaks. Open spaces between panels were embraced as part of the aesthetics but also helped achieve air ventilation requirements and budget constraints. The end result was a facade that simulates movement as light refracts from different angles across the garage skin.

Boyer Pavillion Garage
Partners: SmithGroupJJR, Okland Construction

222 2nd Ave

Located in Nashville Tennessee, 222 Second Ave. represents both Kovach’s screening capabilities and glass work as well. The garage is wrapped in varying widths of white and perforated gray metal panels. The contrasting materials and colors not only mask an otherwise drab parking garage but add an impressive podium to the 25 story office building.

222 2nd Ave
Partners: Gresham Smith & Partners, JE Dunn

Scottsdale Quarter Parking Garage

The Scottsdale Quarter Parking Garage is perhaps our best example of using colors, materials, shapes, and even lighting to transform a parking garage from drab to photogenic. The garage has multiple products including back-lit acrylic panels, metal fins painted green on one side and white on the other, and perforated panels. This garage is also a great example of how different design elements can used on each elevation.

Scottsdale Quarter Parking Garage
Partners: Nelsen Partners, IBEX Construction

Cityplace 2 Garage

Located in Spring Texas, the CityPlace 2 garage is an example of the high quality and complex work our team excels at. The street facing elevation of the garage has a diamond shaped, custom bent perforated panel that was fabricated at our headquarters in Arizona. The angular shapes, perforations, and shadows of the panels combine to give the illusion of various colors and patterns that change with the sunlight. Again we see another example of how architects, in this case Gensler, are using the sunlight to give depth and movement to garage screening.

Cityplace 2 Garage
Partners: Gensler, Harvey Builders

Are you looking to turn your next garage project into something with depth and meaning?

We can help!