Gallery: Green-Roofed Superblock for Fargo, North Dakota

Wide staircases and walkways inside the garage encourage walking while providing access up to the rooftop park.

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.

+ Popular Architecture

+ Downtown Fargo: Urban Infill Design Competition

Via ArchDaily


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  1. lazyreader January 6, 2011 at 8:18 am

    Is this a concept or something Fargo intends to build? I just want to know who will pay for this, stimulus dollars or private sector. Wouldn’t a parking garage sort of defeat the manifesto to environmentalist opposition to cars? Still I don’t care either way. But everyone knows if you don’t build enough parking spaces, no one will live, work or shop there. Even mixed used developments fail to understand convenient parking drives retail and residential, no matter how pedestrian friendly we try to make towns and cities. Click below Fort Worth for instance built a 10 story garage next to pretty historic office building but it has a facade to make it more attractive.

  2. Holcim Awards January 4, 2011 at 4:43 pm

    This is a beautiful design for a parking garage. It makes a vibrant city block while addressing sustainable issues. Really fantastic proposal. This would be an ideal submission to the Holcim Awards for Sustainable Constuction.

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