CENTER STREET PARKING GARAGE

LOCATION: Berkeley, California
TYPOLOGY: Parking Garage / Facade
CLIENT: The City of Berkeley
SQUARE FOOTAGE: 248,000 SF

Photography © 2018 Billy Hustace; © 2018 Robert P Calderwood; © 2018 Marcy Wong

The City of Berkeley’s Downtown Arts District is a popular destination for locals and visitors alike. People arrive by public-transportation, bike or car to frequent bars, shops and restaurants, or attend events. The original 1950’s garage, that served this population, was not only insufficient in parking capacity, but was woefully below current seismic safety standards. The project is a visual feat in response to a challenging brief: create a behemoth parking garage to accommodate visitors’ cars (especially during traffic congestion from simultaneous major events) on a tight mid-block site, while providing a creative façade design fitting of its artistic context. The 8-level, 720-space garage (300 more parking spaces than the old garage) with retail space, art gallery, a sidewalk café, bicycle parking, public bathrooms, and offices is convenient to Downtown businesses, theaters, and the Civic Center. The facility’s innovative aspects are:

  • Two street facades of perforated-steel panels in concert with outrigger stairs that create sculptural elevations—red on Addison Street and lime-green on Center Street. The unique “skin” facade, is made of a perforated metal mesh security screen which forms a wave; the scrims consisting of sharply folded panels in more than 20 sizes. The panels create two massive waves, each surging in a different direction, every panel adding its own small syncopation. At night, choreographed LED lighting washes the pleated metal scrim in an ever-changing array of colors, turning the facades into public art.

  • Colorful, cantilevered, open-air staircases that are the antithesis of archetypal garage circulation—typically grim, isolating, unpleasant for sight, smell, and the sense of being unsafe. The projecting stairs, in full view of the public, feel thoroughly safe, and are architecturally striking with expansive views to the East and West.

The vehicle circulation is designed as a “double helix” ramp structure with a 3-lane vehicle access on both Center and Addison; lanes are flexibly adjusted allowing multiple entry and exit lanes as needed. Basically, dividing the garage into two, 360-space, four-story garages intertwined, this solution results in a high volume of egress capacity. This building is famously hailed by the City’s Mayor as “probably the greenest parking garage in California” owing to its environmentally sustainable features: rooftop solar panels, rainwater-runoff bio-swales, high-efficiency color changing LED lighting in public-art facade, valet parking for 350 bikes, electric vehicle charging stations, car share parking, micro-grid hub provides emergency power.


DESIGN TEAM

DESIGN ARCHITECT: Marcy Wong Donn Logan Architects
ARCHITECT OF RECORD: International Parking Design, Inc. (IPD)
DESIGN TEAM LEADER: Conversion Management  Associates (CMA)
LIGHTING DESIGNER: Architecture & Light
LANDSCAPE ARCHITECT: Placeworks, Inc.
STRUCTURAL ENGINEER: KPFF Consulting Engineers
ELECTRICAL ENGINEER: The Engineering Enterprise (TEE)
CIVIL ENGINEER: BKF Engineers
MECHANICAL ENGINEER: Taylor Engineering
SUSTAINABILITY CONSULTANT: Brightworks Sustainability
FIRE PROTECTION: Jensen Hughes, Inc.
GENERAL CONTRACTOR: Overaa Construction
FAÇADE CONTRACTOR: B.T. Mancini Specialty Contractor
FAÇADE FABRICATIOR: California Sheet Metal Works, Inc.


© 2017 by MARCY WONG DONN LOGAN ARCHITECTS. All Rights Reserved.