In Miami Beach, high design comes to lowly garages

January 18, 2012 01:30PM

From left: Zaha Hadid, a rendering of her Collins Park garage and 111 N. Lincoln Rd

More renowned architects are designing parking garages in Miami Beach, which has become a bastion for championing form in a structure known mostly for its function, the Wall Street Journal noted.

In addition to Arquitectonica’s planned parking and retail complex in Sunset Harbour and a separate residential development that includes a garage designed by OMA, Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas’ firm, Zaha Hadid will design a $12.5 million, city-financed garage in the Collins Park neighborhood.

Moreover, ADD Inc Miami is bringing three automated parking garages — which use thin platforms to lift up cars dropped off by drivers to a parking spot — to South Beach.

These new parking lots will supplement three existing high-design lots recently erected in South Beach. The Herzog & de Meuron lot at 1111 Lincoln Road has already received international critical acclaim even as its located just seven blocks west from a Frank Gehry-designed garage at the New World Center and just north of a garage designed by Enrique Norten.

The Journal said the trend started in 1996, when Arquiteconica built a “Chia Pet” garage with six levels of parking on top of historic buildings.

Architects like designing the structures because of the challenge it presents of turning a garage “into something that people love,” said Bernardo Fort-Brescia, principal of Arquitectonica. [WSJ]