Traditionally overlooked as inherently utilitarian, carparks are emerging from the shadows. As numerous examples over recent times have shown, well-designed structures of this kind have much to offer in terms of aesthetic appeal, with the potential to become significant urban artworks.
Beyond their functional requirements, they present architects with real opportunities to express themselves and reflect the identity of an area or specific project. They can improve the urban environment, enhance user experience, increase property values, and more.
In most of these examples, the façade is the key. The various materials and product types now available make bespoke carpark design a viable architectural option.
At the same time, as with all work of this scale, such projects require planning. They require not just the input of a capable – and appropriately inspired – artist, but effective collaboration between that artist and various other stakeholders to bring that inspiration to fruition. Then of course, from a more technical perspective, public art projects like this involve consideration of factors like the effects of wind on the façade, bracing requirements, natural ventilation and so forth.
Titled ‘Integrated Public Art Facades – Exemplars of Public Art’, this White Paper examines these issues and more. Focussing on the carpark façade at Vicinity Centres’ Chadstone Shopping Complex, as an example, it is intended as a how-to guide for projects of this type, an outline of the key considerations for the successful design and delivery of bespoke carpark façades.
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