This project we’re working on is large enough to break into two articles, the first dealing with the parking facilities. When designing for a large multi-story apartment building, one must provide for parking. There is an option of using off-site parking but essentially one needs to own the property and that property must be within a reasonable distance to your building. That said, like on this project, the parking must be incorporated into the basement space.
This is where good architects stand out in my opinion, in that if the structure is right, and aligns with the apartment units above, there is a substantial savings in the avoidance of transfer beams. This is our approach to help lessen the financial burden of providing a parking garage yet do so in a way that doesn’t negatively impact the apartment units on the upper floors, or the retail space.
Here you are about to enter the parking garage, the slope isn’t too bad and there’s plenty of head room that doesn’t impact the retail space above. Fortunately the Avenue outside slopes around the corner of the intersection this building will reside on thus giving us a height advantage.
To the far right one can see steps allowing people to enter through the secondary apartment entrance, grab their mail and then enter the parking garage, keeping fumes away from the interior through positive air pressure. Note that where the entrances are a special bluish granite is chosen for the walls, keeping the interior of the garage lite colors.
This version of the parking garage, an earlier version, can accommodate 12 vehicles, one pulling in now! The secondary tenant lobby is located off this lower sidewalk and provides access to mail, vehicles, stairs and the elevator.
In this scheme, which deviates from the basement floor plan, the handicap ramp is accommodated within an enclosure, to allow for air-conditioning. Just beyond this enclosure is the elevator, a 2nd approach for handicap if they enter the second entrance to the building.
Coming up the ramp, one intersects with the public stair that doubles as a fire egress. In this lobby, tenants can retrieve their mail from the mail boxes on the far left.
In order to accommodate the entrance car ramp, yet keep parking spaces as close to level as possible, we devised a series of steps, doable because of the extra width of these first few spots as one enters the garage. It is quite the tricky parking spot as one pulls in, as one’s right wheel rolls up a hill the left wheel rolls down, both converging on a nice flat surface. It is the functional details like this that help make SimpleTwig Architecture stand out.
No that white spot isn’t a parking spot, but instead it is a place for people to back into as they pull out of their parking spot. The door on the right is a fire egress, the other is for utility rooms.
All the components that eventually made their way into the final version of the parking garage can be seen even in this portion of the basement, where utility have ample room, providing meters for each unit, the egress stair, an important second means of egress, and the backup space as noted in the image above, that while a different shape still indicates its important function, that being to separate vehicles from pedestrians while protecting the walls and structure of the building from vehicle impact.
Finally, we provide parking for bicycles, 12 spaces to be exact, the plan not reflecting the exact layout, these drawings were part of an earlier presentation.