We’re pretty certain that parking lots of the future will be more than just storage areas for our vehicles. They’ll generate their own power, have morphing advertisements, and likely recharge cars as well. Well our friends at Designboom and Nissan are way ahead of the curve. They just announced the results of their Think Outside the Parking Box competition, and while we’re certainly impressed with some of the imaginative ways to park cars (car ferris wheel, anyone?), we were most excited about the Solasis Light Tower. This renewable energy generating parking lot actually uses the cars’ windshields to shine sun onto a solar power concentrating tower adding valuable juice to the grid. Read on to see how the designers propose to make the tower work and see some detailed pics of the final design.

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In order to save precious surface area in the city, the Solasis Light Tower is slightly removed from the city center on a floating platform. Cars are parked so that their windshields and hoods face the solar receptor at the front of the parking lot. The designers, Klaud Wasiak and Yongbang Ho focused the concept around the Nissan Qashqai which has mesh made up of photovoltaics and mirrors on the windshield and roof. When parked, the mirrors activate and track the sun and redirect the beams of light to the solar concentrating power tower.

Drivers of cars who park in this offshore parking lot can hop on an underground metro line that will bring them to the city core. Or they may choose to cut through the above-ground park and get exercise by walking into the city. Wasiak & Ho designed this because they felt that parking lots are wasted and practically unusable space. With a power generating parking lot like this, the spaces actually give back to the city.

We also really likeNejur Andrei‘s concept, who proposed the SolarParking, a way to recharge cars wirelessly via photovoltaics.

+ Think Outside of the Parking Box Competition

Via Designboom