Gallery: Temporary Dutch Parking Garage Is as Green As It Looks


Here in the United States, we’re only starting to kick the habit of designing cities around cars. But in Leiden, Netherlands, designers were asked to build a parking garage that would last between 10 and 20 years — after that, the land will go back to the city for redevelopment. The temporary structure will use recyclable, sustainable, and nature-mimicking materials.

The final design, by Paul de Ruiter Architects, won in an online poll that allowed neighbors to choose between three finalists. The exterior consists partially of semi-transparent cloth that maximizes visibility inside the garage and provides a view of the surroundings. It’s made of sustainably-manufactured fibers, and from the outside it suggests leaf cover.

The garage also incorporates energy-efficient technology. Its ventilation will be natural, rather than mechanical, and the attendant’s cabin will be kept warm with a heat recovery system. The ramps are low-grade so they won’t have to be heated to remove ice in the wintertime.

The structure — which will be completed at the end of this year — will use recyclable materials, so at the end of its 10-to-20-year lease, the garage can be carted off and given a second life. And so can the space. Now that’s taking kicking the driving habit seriously.

+ Paul de Ruiter


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