A growing trend that excites us at BrandCulture is the repurposing of the humble carpark as urban art. As the community has become more sophisticated, public authorities have become increasing demanding in their protection of local visual amenity. At the same time companies such as Sydney Water and World Square have become aware that their customer experience starts well before the shopfront. Well-designed car parking spaces and facades can serve both community and commercial interests, building a collaborative dialogue between brand, space and audience.
The approaches to delivering an inspiring art facade are as varied as you would expect from a field of designers, architects and artists. The Mountain Dwellings in Copenhagen were inspired by practical considerations, namely the simple thought that using a site that was 2/3 carpark to elevate the 1/3 of apartments would deliver light, space and free heating to the fortunate residents.
Beautiful textural treatments offer another avenue to delivering community art. The Charles St Carpark in Sheffield (top) perfectly epitomises our theme, with a deceptively simple façade that crosses the boundary between art and architecture. The concept of movement created by the wind in the environment at Brisbane Airport’s carpark (above) has made it a favourite in the community. To see the poetry in motion have a look at Ned Kahn’s amazing work.
Carparks also provide one of the perfect canvases for the world’s rapidly evolving digital artists. The Cardiff Bay Carpark is a stunning example of lighting design at play. But even more exciting to us is the Rundle Lantern in Adelaide. Maintained as a collaborative installation by the Adelaide City Council, calls for submissions from artists regularly update the content. Also used for festivals and events, it creates a genuine, lasting and always up to date connection between art, architecture and the public.