Gone are the days when parking garages were bland and inefficient. International architectural firm Behnisch Architekten just earned LEED Gold certification for their colorful Parking Structure #6 in Santa Monica. Finally bringing parking deck design into the age of urban sustainability, the structure offers ample parking space and an interior flooded with natural light. In addition to its strategic light-optimizing facade, the building has multiple sustainable features such as photovoltaic solar roof panels and several electrical vehicle charging stations.
Built in collaboration with Studio Jantzen, the massive structure was designed with a variety of innovative components that aim to incorporate the parking deck into its bustling urban surroundings. In addition to the building’s eco-conscious features, the architects focused on replacing the dark, dank multi-level parking structures of the past with a vibrant and inviting community-focused structure. The #6 parking deck, located in downtown Santa Monica, serves a high traffic area with eight above-ground and three subterranean levels, 750 parking spaces, approximately 7,000 square feet of retail space, farmers market storage, and 90 bicycle racks and 19 motorcycles spots.
On the multi-colored facade, the architects chose to use perforated and solid aluminum “sails” as screens in order to provide optimal natural light and air ventilation throughout the structure’s interior as well as eliminate the harsh sun glare. Additionally unique to the design is the diagonal staircase that cuts across the exterior facade, providing a safe and visible passage as well as expansive ocean views for parking patrons.
Photography by David Matthiessen