In celebration of PARK(ing) Day, Lehrer Architects wanted to build their own tribute, calling on their designers to come up with ideas to transform a parking space in front of their office into a temporary park for a day. Working after hours to come up with a unique response, the team voted on the concept entitled “99 Gallons Per Mile,” to visualize the carbon footprint of a modern sport utility vehicle. They built a void of a typical SUV and calculated the emissions that it would emit and visualized this with 99 red helium balloons floating above the installation.
Working additional night hours in their RaD (Research and Development)Room, the Lehrer team built a frame out of FSC certified melamine to create a to scale void of an SUV. The installation is mobile and can be quickly assembled and disassembled to move to other locations for off-site installations. Assembly is a matter of bolting the panelized system together the morning of the event and filling the space with greenery, leaves or mulch. Lawn chairs complete the interior and provide a shaded place to repose.
The installation is entitled “99 Gallons Per Mile” because this is the amount of carbon dioxide emitted by the vehicle every mile. Based on various internet sources, an average SUV emits approximately 1.57 pounds of carbon dioxide per mile. Converting the weight into a volume, the 1.57 pounds of CO2 would fill 99 one gallon balloons. Floating above the SUV void then were 99 balloons during the day to visualize the volume of emissions and the carbon footprint. The design was unveiled on September 21st, 2007 at LA’s office in Silverlake having taken over a temporary parking space and turning it into a park.
Images ©Lehrer Architects