Over the years, car parks have been among the ugliest and controversial buildings in towns and cities.
But times are changing. Today, the humble multi-storey is an important part of the urban aesthetic.
In fact, according to architects Leach Rhodes Walker, modern car park design is as much about enhancing the overall visitor experience as it is about providing a space to park.
“Car park design has changed,” said LRW’s lead project designer, Ka-yin Man. “It used to be about maximising the number of spaces, but now there is the ‘experience factor’ to consider.
“I like doing car parks. You have to think about how the design will enrich people’s experience, with the aim that they will come back to that shopping area.”
Maple worked with LRW on a project to create a new car park in Warrington’s new Bridge Street Quarter development ― part of a £107m regeneration of the town centre. The eight-level car park is cloaked in a gold-coloured architectural façade of perforated panels with hexagon-shaped cut-outs.
We wanted to produce an individual design that was localised in the history of the area,” added Ka-yin.“There were restrictions - the car park is near a conservation area, and we had to meet a required level of spaces - but we also had to understand that a positive experience for visitors is key to the growth of the local economy.”