room: 1243 A course: 414.1 Major Building Design Studio
PARKING PLUS NO PARKING: Planning for Imminent Obsolescence
Kevin Daly, Lecturer
The 414 studio faculty established a theme of Parking Plus, anticipating some programmatic component that could alter the impact that structured parking has on our urban environment. In an era of car sharing and ambivalence toward automobile ownership, reconsideration of parking is under way at the level of transportation planning, local economics and urban policy. Municipal parking structures, long accepted as an essential component of urban development and commercial vitality, are increasingly seen as congestion-inducing liabilities and our studio project will start with the premise that the missing ingredient is less parking. The program will require the adaptation of portions of existing structures us use as small hotels or hostels.
Municipal parking structures, once a manifestation of enlightened, district-wide planning and shared resources for active urban cores, now seem regressive an anachronistic, Their sloping floor plates and column grids that are three dimensional analogs to the ubiquitous land-banked surface lots that surround convention centers and sports arenas in downtowns across the country. A combination of factors is encouraging this reappraisal. Off street parking has long been considered sound planning policy, a means to keep streets traffic free and ensure adequate parking for sales tax generating retail. In practice, though, substantial parking has distorted development options and focused potential project on those that minimize parking. Required parking, typically in underground structure can cost $50,000 - $75,000 per space and is accompanied by high environ- mental cost of excavation and soil removal. In addition, the availability of parking generates congestion in urban centers, perversely creating circumstances where it is both impossible to either arrive at or depart from downtown cores.
PROBLEM Parking hybrids are a well-established form, usually establish- ing a subsidiary relationship between parking and an alternate program, like a commercial space at ground level or housing at upper level or on front facing-surfaces; universities have systematically appropriated top surfaces of parking structures for athletic activities. These are strategies that anticipate a permanent programmatic mix; the students were asked to anticipate the instability of designating parking as a primary use at twi- light of the urban parking era and look to create opportunities that hasten the transition from the initial use of parking to a permanent configuration. While there may be some spatial ambiguity, this is not intended to resemble the familiar join uses parking lots that support parking, athletics, and weekly events like farmers markets as documented by Alex MacLean. This exercise is about transitional rather than simultaneous use and will require identifying week spots, distortions and armatures to accommodate the proposed after market modifications.
Students considered three sites: replacement structure Second Street be- tween Arizona and Wilshire, a structure at Santa Monica College on Pico and 15th street, and a parking structure serving the medical center at Arizona and 15th.
s t u d e n t s : Garth Britzman, Di Chang, Isabel Deakin, Chad Diep, Daniel Dae-Un Lee, Luis Ochoa, Richard Ruiz, Michael Ying, Sarah Oshida, Joanna Dziarska, Amanda Shin, Shen Gao