Parking in the downtown area of Sarasota can be challenging for many. The City conducted master plan exercises for potential public parking sites within the downtown core. This project was designed for the City of Sarasota to be located on the Palm Avenue site. Containing 750 parking spaces and over 10,000 square feet of retail space, the City requested that the project be of exemplary design and contribute to an active and vibrant retail street frontage—something that has been historically absent from this section of Palm Avenue.
The garage was designed as a precast concrete system utilized by the garage contractor for its construction efficiency and economic factor of the city’s budget. Utilizing the precast system as the basis of the garage structure, the project was laid out so that the major entry point for cars was along a drive off of Palm Avenue. The City requested that a highly desirable element to the garage would be a clearly articulated pedestrian entrance and exit point for the building. This element was designed for the westerly end of the site—farthest away from Main Street and city activities. While not the closest route for potential users, the entrance/exit vertical core element anchors the building—creating a visual cue for the pedestrian and creating pedestrian traffic across the face of the retail component of the project.
Parking garage structures, due largely to the utilitarian and functional uses they contain, have a tendency to produce flat and one dimensional facades. This design begins to layer finish materials in a manner that allows for various levels of translucency and opaqueness—producing a depth to the façade along the parking garage levels. Material changes along the length of the design further break up the length of the building and reinforce the prominence to the vertical element of the design. These elements create a three dimensional layering system that interacts with natural light patterns—as well as the opportunity to light the facade at night—producing interesting patterns and depth to the structure.
Project Designer: Dale Parks / Seibert Architects