Page B1.1 . 12 October 2005                     
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    Rotterdam Veranda

    by Michael J. Crosbie

    Can a parking garage be sexy? The new Veranda Parking Garage in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, with its soft curves and elegant detailing, seems about as sensuous and inviting as a garage can be. Designed by the firm of Architectenbureau Paul de Ruiter b.v., part of the Veranda's allure, like most things sexy, is in what you can't see. In this case, it's the extraordinary story of the building's construction.

    There is a big opening in the middle of this 650-car garage, not easily visible from the surrounding neighborhood, which is more gallery than motor pool. The large 52- by 72-foot (16- by 22-meter) courtyard, with its landscaping, rounded ramps, and glass elevator, brings light deep into the garage and delivers it four stories underground.

    With five stories above grade, the central courtyard is an imposing nine-story space, from which you can observe cars zipping along the ramps, people coming and going via sloped walkways, and the elevator gliding up and down. The light-colored materials seem to make the garage levitate.   >>>

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    ArchWeek Image

    Veranda Parking Garage in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, designed by Architectenbureau Paul de Ruiter b.v.
    Photo: Rien van Rijthoven

    ArchWeek Image

    Interior courtyard extends down four stories below grade.
    Photo: Rien van Rijthoven

     

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