Why can't Houston build a parking garage like this?
In Houston, as in most car-centric cities, parking garages are an afterthought. But in Miami, a new $65 million garage at the center of the city is gaining unprecedented attention as a work of art.
The new garage, designed by the internationally acclaimed Swiss architecture firm of Herzog & de Meuron (designers of the Beijing Olympic Stadium affectionately known as the Bird's Nest), has staggered floor heights of up to 34 feet, a staircase with artwork imbedded in its base, a glass cube that is home to a designer clothing store in the middle, and a penthouse apartment for developer and art lover Robert Wennett.
"This is not a parking garage," Wennett told the New York Times. "It's really a civic space."
The garage, which rents out for up to $15,000 a night, is also a hot spot for weddings, bar mitzvahs and charity events.
Last year, we asked CultureMap readers to tell us about their favorite Houston parking garages. A Texas Medical Center garage with a gigantic waterwall imbeded into the structure, a University of Houston garage wrapped around a welcome center, and a University of St. Thomas garage that blends into the campus were mentioned. But there's nothing like this.
Here's hoping that some developer will realize that Houston's car-crazy culture deserves a designer parking garage like this.