|University of Cincinnati
|Architecture; Architecture; Automobile; Carpark; Garage; Urbanism; Parking
|Full text PDF:
Ever since the advent of the automobile, people started moving out to the suburbs to escape the dense and undesirable conditions of city life. The suburbs represented the American Dream; having your own house, white-picket-fenced yard, with a car and a couple of kids. In the United States, individualism and privacy are cherished qualities and the suburbs provide that. One setback to this dream was the nation would be heavily reliant on the personal automobile as a primary source of transportation. People were willing to commute between ten and thirty miles to and from work in order to have that American Dream; sprawl became the method for providing this type of lifestyle. Over the following decades as automotive technology was increasing and the symbolism of the car carried over into garage design; parking garages began to transform. As automobile design improved and vehicles became operable in all weather conditions; garages’ concern to protect the automobile from the environment began to decrease, effecting parking garage design. Just as the car was an icon for freedom, people thought that parking garages should operate similarly. As the notion “to come and go” dominated, the concept of waiting for your vehicle via valet or elevator, clashed with that mindset. This led to self-park garages that have been dominant for the past half century. These garages have evolved into banal and sterile archetypes that only serve a function, and not how they interface with the context. The intent of this thesis is to propose a new perspective toward the design of parking garages within the urban context to a capacity that promotes urban growth. This proposal will make assessments on the drawbacks to urban parking garages as well as identify obstacles that impede urban development. The idea is by bringing these drawbacks to the foreground; solutions may be developed in a manner that not only improve qualities to both parking and urban progress, but also allows the parking garage archetype to transform from a space for storing your car into a place that becomes part of the urban experience. The downtown Market District of Roanoke, Virginia will be the backdrop to this thesis. Advisors/Committee Members: Williams, William (Committee Chair).