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The Architecture of Parking

by Doug Black
on 24 July 2009

If architecture is, as Mies van der Rohe held, "the will of an epoch translated into space," then it's no surprise that a rabid proclivity toward parking structures marks the last century. Born out of an increasing reliance on cars, the design of parking garages range from the mundane to profound. Oftentimes, though, they're mistaken as purely utilitarian structures that have nothing to add to the architectural conversation. Simon Henley's 2007 book "The Architecture of Parking" (which was recently released in paperback) debunks this thinking by cataloging the most iconic and influential examples and detailing their unique contributions.

With the help of 568 images the book examines scores of different case studies, from canonical examples like Chicago's corncob-shaped Marina City towers to less-heralded car parks, like the one on Pydar Street in Truro, England (both pictured below). The book separates case studies into groupings marked by unique aesthetic influence, matter, elevation, light and obliquity.


In addition to these examples, extras include an introduction by the clearly car park-smitten author and photo essays by Amazon or Thames & Hudson.

View more images after the jump.

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