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Zaha Hadid designs a parking garage for Miami Beach.
Courtesy Zaha Hadid Architects

Many urbanists see the parking garage as a necessary evil of contemporary city making, but the city of Miami Beach has elevated the structure to civic art. The newest addition to a collection of eye-catching parking structures makes perfect sense: a pile of curving forms by the world’s most sculptural architect, Zaha Hadid. No stranger to dramatically cantilevered, fluid forms, Hadid here delivers a concrete structure that calls to mind both gyroscopes and pizza dough in mid flight.

Located in Collins Park, home to the new Gehry-designed New World Symphony (with its own Gehry garage), the Hadid garage joins a roster of parking structures designed by Herzog & de Meuron, Arquitectonica, Ten Arquitectos, and Perkins + Will. Commissioned by the City of Miami Beach the garage is the city’s latest to use design as a tool to attract tourism and notoriety. “Even our parking garages are more than a group of parking spaces. Some have become destinations within themselves and have attained individual iconic status,” said Miami Beach Mayor Matti Bower in a statement. “Every building can be a work of art.”

Like Herzog & de Meuron’s ultra-thin, cantilevered garage at 1111 Lincoln Road, which contains an apartment and retail space plugged into the structure, Hadid’s will include commercial space and up to five storefronts at ground level. The garage has a planned capacity of 400 spaces on a 30,000-square-foot lot, but it could be extended to bridge over Liberty Street with the addition of a city-owned 17,000-square-foot lot, according to a spokesperson for the project. The estimated date of completion has yet to be determined.

Alan G. Brake