Daily Archives: November 5, 2006

More Bushy Parking Garages

If a building had an ass, the parking garage would be it. Aesthetically, it is the building’s least desirable feature. What really irks me is when developers almost seem to try to make them look horrible—as in the case of Brickell Village’s The Club, which has the largest most repulsive parking garage in the whole area. Another notorious skyline blemish is the parking garage of the One Biscayne Tower. There are too many examples to cite. There is a lesson to be learned, however, from three buildings across Biscayne Bay in South Beach. The parking garage at Bentley Bay is a fine example of a developer who decided to actually do something about the parking garage’s unattractiveness–by having the facades draped in vertical bars that serve as posts which vines can grow up on. For another great example, one only needs to look across 5th street to Icon South Beach. The building has square shaped port holes that allow bushes to grow out and over the exterior garage walls. This will create a unique vertical landscape feature to the building. It also takes concrete and makes it look like a trimmed garden. The parking garage is always at the base of the building, but in the case of Icon South Beach it serves as a sort of building pedestal. Although the bushes have not yet fully grown out, one can see what they will look like when they do grow out. Just travel down to Collins Avenue where one of the parking garages is covered with neatly trimmed hedges that compliment the streetscape excellently—allowing for a more natural urbanism. If more developers would take heed then parking garages may actually become one of the standout architectural features of the building and the streetscapes will benefit.

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