The top floor, surrounded by stunning city and ocean views, hosts weddings and yoga classes. Above that is the owner's private penthouse apartment. Floors below showcase Rolls Royces, Ferraris and Bentleys. Welcome to Miami's new $US65 million public parking garage.
The garage, a joint effort by a local developer and world-renowned architecture firm Herzog & de Meuron, helps alleviate downtown Miami's chronic parking problem but not without embodying the city's somewhat characteristic extravagance.
What they produced, in early 2010, was all those things: a garage with floor heights of up to 34 feet, three times the norm; a striking internal staircase, with artwork embedded in its base; precarious looking (and feeling) ledges that rely on industrial-strength cable to hold back cars and people; and a glass cube that houses a designer clothing store, perhaps the first in the middle of a parking garage.
In a final flourish, the architects created a soaring top floor that doubles as an event space, with removable parking barriers. It can be rented for about $US12,000 to $US15,000 a night.
Parking in the lot usually costs $US4 an hour, as opposed to about a dollar an hour for municipal lots, but for many, especially the owners of luxury cars, it's worth it. Douglas Sharon, a financial adviser, parks his grey Ferrari in the garage several times a week. "I wouldn't even think of parking anywhere else when I'm downtown," he told the New York Times. You know what they say - your car's only as nice as the garage you park it in. Oh, they don't say that? Then they should. [NYT]