When you think of car parks, you probably think of something simple, bare-bones, dull. Now, what if we told you that not all car parks are like that. In fact, some car parks are architectural gems designed as a piece of art to elevate the area they have been built in. Just look at our top 10 coolest car parks to see how the simple car park can be made into an incredible, awe-inspiring structure.
The Autostadt is more than just a car park, it is also an attraction situated near the VW factory. It is home to a museum, is the start of the VW factory tour, and contains the VW parking lot, which is by far the coolest part of this building. It is also the world’s fastest automated parking facility. When a customer comes to pick up their new car, which is parked in a pod in two towers made of steel and glass before they are sold, the car is placed onto a platform and lowered down. A vending machine for vehicles if you will!
This parking complex in Vancouver was built as part of a plan to revitalize a part of the city that needed an upgrade and ingenuity at its finest was at play when it comes to the Cordova parkade. The Cordova came about when the city decided to turn an old department store into a $28 million parking complex and integrated pieces of old Vancouver bridges into its design. Stair towers hang from the façade, designed to evoke the neighborhood’s fire escapes, while an intricate lattice of granite and steel inspired by 19th-century train stations screen the parking spaces.
Charles St, Sheffield
This Q-PARK car park in Sheffield is affectionately known as ‘The Cheesegrater’ by locals. The eye-catching building has 530 parking spaces available and features hundreds of metallic panels at different angles which makes it glint like a huge diamond in the sunlight. The Q-Park company has won awards for design, efficiency, and environmental awareness. ‘The Cheesegrater’ is renowned for its secure pedestrian and vehicle entrances, and contrary to many other car parks, it is extremely well lit and parking hosts are patrolling the site constantly!
Fun Fact: You can book a space at this location on KERB right now!
Michigan Theatre Parking Garage
Detroit, Michigan, USA
As the name suggests the entrance to this parking lot was originally a theatre! Ironically, one of the factors that forced the closure of the opulent theater was a lack of parking. The theater faced stiff competition from modern nearby theaters that offered plenty of parking space. When it closed there was fear that demolishing the building would destabilize nearby structures. To circumvent this potential issue, engineers decided that they would convert the structure into a car park. As a result, we have been left with an incredibly grandiose parking experience.
Kansas City Central Library Parking Garage
Kansas City, Missouri, USA
This parking garage is a book lover’s dream! The locals of Kansas City were involved in the development of this unique city landmark, being allowed to nominate their favorite books to feature on the garage’s façade. Each of the 22 spines of classic literature measures 25 feet by 9 feet and is sandwiched between two metal stairwells that act as the bookends.
Lego Parking House
A treat for adults and kids alike, you cannot leave the Lego parking house off a list of the coolest car parks. One of the coolest things about the design is the sizes of the perforations in the facade. These are based on the standard Lego brick that you can buy in a store. This means that you can attach the bricks to the perforations, turning the walls of this parking house into a giant canvas for your imagination and creativity.
Garagenatelier Car Park
A car park with a view is what you will find at the Garagenatelier Car Park, hidden in the mountains of Herdern Switzerland. Five concrete cubes are embedded into the landscape and partially reveal the underground car park within, allowing natural daylight to brighten the cave-like space. This may also be one of the most exclusive car parks you ever come to, with only enough space for eight vehicles!
Quick Parking Morelli
A cave housing a car park, what will they think of next?! This city centre car park is inside a historic cave. The mouth of the cave acts as the entry and exit point. There are seven levels of which three are dedicated to car parking. A tunnel has been connected to the cave for centuries and now the car park is accessed via three tunnels. If there was ever a car park to give us “Batcave” vibes, this is it!
Umihotaru, The Floating Car Park
Tokyo Bay, Japan
A marvel of engineering, this is a floating car park, built on an artificial island. This car park has become a tourist attraction in its own right, with millions of people visiting every year. It stands five levels tall, with parking on levels one through three, and commercial facilities on levels four and five. Boasting panoramic 360º views of Tokyo Bay, it is truly a car park like no other.
Ballet Valet Parking Garage
Miami, Florida, USA
This building is entirely covered in vegetation. It was designed to soften the appearance and reduce the visual impact on the Lower South Beach area of Miami. The design creates a green space above the city of Miami Beach that disguises a pragmatic parking garage. As a result, it has transformed this car park into a visually pleasant area and an urban home to bird species. It has achieved all this without interfering with current parking activity at the site at all. You’d be hard-pressed to find a prettier, more natural parking lot in such an urbanized area.
So next time you’re visiting a new city, or are even exploring your own city, check out if there are any parking structure gems for you to visit or park in! In the meantime though, make sure you download KERB on Google Play or the App Store. Alternatively, you can sign up via our website so you never miss out on the perfect parking space!