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Osborn Architects Re-Imagines Paved Parking Lots as an Urban Forest
Sunny southern California is synonymous with transportation by car, but today as the auto industry struggles, there are large swaths of fallow concrete-covered expanses where car dealerships once thrived. In Glendale, California, a mile-long corridor known as the Brand Boulevard of Cars takes up over 33 acres for the exhibition, storage, and maintenance of new and used cars. Envisioning a better use for this prime real estate, Osborn Architects has a put forth a novel idea that would re-skin and re-purpose this area, essentially creating an urban forest out what is now a desolate wasteland.
Osborn Architects proposes to overhaul the surfaces of the asphalt lots, territorial fences, and oversized warehouses. The new Brand Boulevard is imagined as a corridor of productive skins that generate energy with solar and piezo-electric membranes. These vertical urban forests would sequester carbon and filter pollution, as well as store water. The entire boulevard would also be embedded with a new system of multi-mobility options, turning Brand Boulevard from a giant glorified parking lot into a functioning, green transit corridor connecting north to south.
Imagine if all the asphalt-coated car corridors across the nation could be transformed from wasteland to forest. This forward-thinking design idea earned Osborn a Citation Award from the Pasadena Foothill AIA Awards last year. Hopefully Osborn has planted the seeds for an eventual urban transformation in the future.
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