If you ever actually think about auto garages chances are you are not thinking about awesome marriages of technology and architecture or incredible architectural masterpieces in fact if you think about them at all chance are you’re thinking about where they are, the price and how to use them with a minimal amount of annoyance. However there are some auto garages where the creators have shot for the moon and come up with some totally cool concepts and designs that make gives them a strange coolness. Here are the best of the cool, strange auto garages in the world.
The Top Ten
1. Autostadt – To start with the entire place is an theme park dedicated to all things automobile which includes a Volkswagen factory tour, various cool driving courses and a museum. Leave it to the German’s to create a Matrix like picturesque 20 story high auto silo where you can watch robotic devices deliver your new car in a way that ensures your new car’s odometer reads zero when you pick it up.
2. Umihotaru ( “sea firefly” in Japanese) is built on an artificial island with sweeping views of Tokyo. What makes this garage cool and strange is that it’s built in the shape of a cruise ship complete with cafes, shops, and art galleries. It is both a place to park and an entertainment destination all wrapped together.
3. KRE House Tokyo – That’s right the people who brought you Hello Kitty madness also designed a home with a nine-car underground garage that displays one of the cars in the living room. How cool is that? Santa Monica Civic Center Parking Structure
4. Santa Monica Civic Center – In the center of the very environmentally conscious community is a space for 900 cars with 14 spots reserved for electric cars. It’s totally powered by solar panels, uses LED lighting, and was built from sustainably sourced materials like granola or something like that.
5. Kansas City Public Library’s Community Bookshelf. It’s cool because the outside of the building is designed to look like a huge bookshelf stacked with books with metal stairwells on each side that look like bookends and that is cool.
6. Parkhaus Engelenschanze That’s right, German engineering is once again displaying it’s awesomeness by building a garage with an all glass exterior so people don’t feel like they are in a creepy dark building. It also boasts a waterfall, a creek, glass curtains, and a ramp designed so that traffic never has to cross paths.
7. EPA Experimental Parking Lot – Why build a parking lot that no one is ever going to park on? Because you are doing a really big science experiment to test parking surfaces that’s why. The lot is built to test things like water runoff and durability so parking structures of the future can get even cooler.
8. The Eco Cycle – Located in Tokyo where 30 percent of the population rides a bike to work this marvel engineering takes your bike with a robotic arm and parks it below ground. When you want it back it only takes ten seconds for the robot to deliver your bike.
9. Smart Parking in Baltimore-Washington International Airport – This space is Airport Parking Nirvana because you never have to look for a spot. Every parking spot has a sensor that sends a signal to a computer to tell it when it is free. Signs on the garage tell you how many spots are open and how to get there.
10. Nutwood Parking Facility at California State University at Fullerton Here you’ll find a garage with walls that are alive. That’s right the bamboo and flowery vines that make up three sides of the walls are there to generate oxygen and lower the garage’s carbon footprint.
Editor’s Note: Tommy Mello owns www.phoenixazgaragedoorrepair.com in Phoenix, Arizona. He enjoys sharing garage improvement ideas and maintenance tips.