Not all parking garages are created equal. For example, look to the Ballet Valet Parking Garage and Retail Center in Miami Beach, on 7th and Collins, in the heart of the Miami Art Deco Historic District.
Designed by the French firm Arquitectonica, engineered and planned by Desman Associates and constructed by McCarthy Building Companies, the structure transforms the upper levels of the garage into a hanging garden.
The building includes street-level shops, a restored Art Deco façade and six parking levels concealed behind a trellised, carbon-dioxide-absorbing planting of Clusia guttifera [a flowering shrub with leathery leaves], Conocarpus erectus, var. sericeus [silver buttonwood] and Scaevola frutescans [a tropical beach shrub]. Palm trees planted along the sidewalk provide shade.
The imaginative landscaping takes some of the sting out of driving a greenhouse-gas-emitting vehicle.
UPDATE: For more info about the Miami Art Deco Historic District, which is celebrating its 30th year on the National Register of Historic Places, and for info about their annual Art Deco Weekend in January, check the Miami Design Preservation League website here.
Photo by Dan Forer, courtesy of Arquitectonica
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