Parking lots are as far from green as it gets, but a new parking garage in the old resort town of Rogaška Slatina, Slovenia is making amends with a spectacular green roof. Tucking itself discreetly underground to make room for a new city park atop, the design maintains the city's green belt and sets a great precedent for a future of green building. Designed by API Arhitekti, the elegant and understated gesture gives little away, with only a modernist glass box and driveway indicating that there might be something below all that grass everyone is playing on.
Underground parking has always been popular in dense cities – particularly as the value of the land increases, but this parking lot is something different. By addressing the strain on transportation coming from tourists, and keeping the city green, the lot does not degrade the environment, but instead enhances it.
The lot has been constructed from prefab concrete panels, and a specially engineered roof forgoes the use of traditional columns to maximize the available parking spaces. Set atop the lot structure, an airy glass portal to the outside reflects the surrounding environment and practically disappears at a distance.
A clever and eco-conscious design, not only does the green roof lot keep unsightly pavement from disrupting the views, but it also reduces noise, creates a natural habitat and introduces a new place for residents to convene and enjoy the outdoors. The city benefits even further with reduced storm water runoff, and a much cooler environment in the summer as the heat island effect is eliminated.
So while cars probably won’t be going away any time soon, maybe the traditional parking lot can – this very well could be the future look of the parking garage!