Fargo, North Dakota needs a new 500-car parking garage stat, so the city launched the Downtown Fargo: Urban Infill Design Competition to source creative solutions for creating a downtown block that still provides adequate parking spaces. One of the proposals by Popular Architecture caught our eye with the beautiful addition of a green garage rooftop park and a creative layout that provides adequate space for a parking garage but doesn't make it the most important thing on the block.
Recently Fargo demolished an older parking garage and wanted to update it with increased parking capacity. At the same time they wanted the urban block to add to the livability, sustainability and beauty of the city with a multi-use urban solution that addresses retail, office, housing, parking, and plaza space for the US Bank block. Popular Architecture responded with a solution that pushed the parking garage to the center of the block and placed four new mixed use towers around the garage. Visitors could park in the garage on whatever level is most appropriate to reach their destination.
The parking garage is partially underground to allow for a pedestrian walkway through the center of the garage to connect each of the towers. This design also extends the City’s existing pedestrian Skyway system. Wide staircases and walkways inside the garage encourage walking while providing access up to the rooftop park. A large public plaza in front of the garage serves as a leisure area for visitors and provides a space for outdoor events.
Each of the buildings surrounding the garage would be built to maximize winter solar gain, and the buildings’ volumes are designed to take advantage of the sun. Passive House design standards would be used on all buildings to improve energy efficiency through high levels of insulation, air-tightness and heat recovery units. Although the proposal did not win the competition, we’re inspired by the solution that Popular Architecture devised.