What is it about starchitects and car parks?

Zaha Hadid becomes the latest architect to build a parking garage in Miami
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Architectural photographer Iwan Baan captures '1111 Lincoln Road' designed by Herzog & De Meuron in 2010
Architectural photographer Iwan Baan captures '1111 Lincoln Road' designed by Herzog & De Meuron in 2010

Some cities collect buildings by the world's starchitects, New York has Frank Gehry and Rem Koolhaas, Tokyo has Toyo Ito and Tadao Ando and London has Norman Foster and Renzo Piano. One city that does it a bit differently is Miami; instead of tall, glass fronted, buildings housing luxury apartments or office workers, the city commissions architects to build car parks - Los Angeles based Frank Gehry, Swiss firm Herzog & de Meuron and international, Miami based design collective Arquitectonica already have structures in place. Now Zaha Hadid, winner of last year's Stirling Prize for the MAXXI in Rome and nominated this year for the Evelyn Grace Academy in Britain, is to join this 'Parking Garage Hall of Fame'.

Hadid's garage will be built in Collins Park, a neighbourhood which houses the Miami City Ballet, the City Library and the obligatory Miami quota of luxury hotels per square mile. With plans still under wraps, Matti Bower, Mayor of the City of Miami Beach could only say that she is "delighted with her contemporary and brilliant design for our newest parking garage."

As per the structures that have gone before her it can only be presumed that Hadid's parking garage will not only house cars; Arquitectonica's proposed design for their second structure on Purdy Avenue, currently under construction, features 31,000 square feet of shopping space, whilst Herzog & de Meuron's 1111 Lincoln Road (above) has been used as a venue for weddings and live music events.

"Our parking garages are more than a group of parking spaces," the Mayor adds. "Some have become destinations within themselves, every building can be a work of art."


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