Page D1.1 . 15 November 2006                     
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    Beautiful Parking

    by Michael J. Crosbie

    Once upon a time the parking garage was created as a dark place filled with sinister shadows and exhaust fumes. But it doesn't have to be that way. Over the past few years some of the best parking garages have been designed and constructed to be more like parking palaces, as architects focus their design creativity on making the inner-city garage an aesthetic contributor to our urban experience.

    Is it any surprise that Germany is a beneficiary of one of these novel parking garages? It seems natural that the country that brought us the Autobahn and exacting automotive design and engineering should also be host to such an elegant and innovative structure, which offers some unorthodox lessons in garage design.

    The Parkhaus Engelenschanze, designed by Petry - Wittfoht Freier Architekten — a firm that has since evolved into wittfoht architekten, based in Stuttgart — is located in the center of the city of Münster, not far from the train station. It occupies the corner of Engelstrasse and Herwarthstrasse, the latter being the more prominent thoroughfare, onto which the garage fronts.

    According to the architect, this is a important urban locale, with a large hotel just across Herwarthstrasse and the city's Chamber of Agriculture building on the other side of Engelstrasse. Another hotel, office buildings, and shops nudge up to the parking garage on either side of the block.   >>>

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    Parkhaus Engelenschanze, a parking garage in Stuttgart, designed by wittfoht architekten.
    Photo: Werner Huthmacher, Berlin

    ArchWeek Image

    Inner courtyard.
    Photo: Werner Huthmacher, Berlin


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