Freed Parking Towards a New Culture of Architecture & Automobility
Freed Parking Towards a New Culture of Architecture & Automobility
Kristine Makwinski Syracuse University School of Architecture Thesis Preparation Fall 2011 Primary Advisor: Larry Bowne Secondary Advisor: Jon Lott
Contents 3 4 28
Thesis Abstract Introduction Historical Background
Site: Los Angeles Site: 6000 Wilshire Boulevard
Program: Parking Program: Hybrids
Image Sources Bibliography
Abstract Americans originally embraced the personal automobile as a symbol of freedom and mobility, and the forms of our cities and architecture have evolved to support driving. Pedestrians and transit users have become drivers who require more and more space to drive and store their automobiles, and banal parking has come to dominate land use. The culture of driver-dependence has harmed many American cities, however, as an integral part of our urban fabric and society, the (land) use of personal automobiles cannot be expected to decrease in the near future, and must be better addressed. The contemporary driver-dependent American city consists of three major systems: architectural space, car or automotive space, and the driver that moves between these two spatial experiences. These systems are often highly differentiated and exist at odds with each other; expanses of parking are the only transition from car to building. The automobile was successful not only as a consumer object, but as an experience, much in the same way that architecture constructs built objects as spatial experiences. Yet, when it comes to the spaces we design for parking cars, the destinations where we end our automotive journeys and that occupy such a significant amount of space, we have missed a major opportunity for better design. Though parking contains both the motion of automotive space and the stasis of architectural space, it fails to adapt architectureâ€™s human scale, freedom of movement, and multiplicity of programmatic uses. I contend that parking is simultaneously an architectural and automotive space, and therefore should encompass the scales, movements, and programs of each.
The city dweller navigates space as a driver, alternating between automotive and architectural spaces. These two types of spaces are distinguished by their scales, motion, restriction of movement, and accommodation of program. Automotive space is designed for the motion of automobiles- infrastructural elements of the city that connect destinations. However, the movement of automobiles through this space is highly restricted by speed limits, stop lights, and lane changes. This space is designed entirely at the scale of the car and the standardized amount of space required to move, park, turn, and gain speed. This limits automotive space strictly to the programmatic use of driving and does not interface with its counterpart- architectural space. Architecture is inherently stationary with a greater sense of place and permanence than automotive motion. It is designed at the human scale with a focus on the occupantâ€™s spatial experience, and though it may incorporate an architectural promenade or suggestive circulation, people can move freely throughout the space and experience it at their will. Also inherent to architectural space is its ability to accommodate any programmatic use with varying degrees of corresponding design specificity.
Automotive Space & Experience
STOP ONE WAY
scale of car
Architectural Space & Experience
A traditional figure ground of car-dependent cities (Atlanta pictured here) with poche buildings appears to have vast amounts of residual open spaces between buildings, through which city occupants can move freely on foot and easily transition from the public realm into the privacy of buildings. 8
However, the presence of automobiles in the city, both in motion and at rest, make it clear that this space full of our private vehicles is not so public. Automotive and architectural spaces and experiences become clear as two distinct systems in the city that the occupant must navigate. 10
Automotive space dominates land use, comprising both roads for cars in motion, and parking for their storage at rest. Automotive motion and stasis are addressed in the same way- built at the scale of the car, in the same materiality. However, parking has the potential to adapt architectural qualities and become a third type of intermediary space between automobile and architecture, thus minimizing the dominating presence of automobile-only space. 12
Scale of Car
Scale of Person
Program = Driving
Parking = Motion
Scale of Car Single Program
Motion Restricted Movement Scale of Car Single Program
Restricted Movement Scale of Car Single Program
Stasis Motion Free Movement Restricted Movement Scale of Person Scale of Car Programmatic Flexibility
Scale of Person Programmatic Flexibility
These two contradictory spaces meet at their parking spaces- where automobile leaves its space of motion on the road, and driver leaves their car to interact with built space at the human scale. The space for parking represents a key moment of transition in the city, charged with mediating multiple scales, experiences, and types of movementhowever it is treated largely as an extension of the automotive space that also includes stationary vehicles. Therefore parking interfaces seamlessly with the street, but not as well with architecture. By incorporating the elements of free movement and human scale, and accommodating architectural program, parking can better mediate car and building as a transitionary space.
Stasis Free Movement Scale of Person Programmatic Flexibility 15
In order to address the spaces for automobiles and architecture it is necessary to first understand their origins. The culture of the personal automobile emerged unobtrusively in the first half of the twentieth century. In 1900, America was a society that moved largely on streetcars, trains, and horse-drawn carriages; early automobiles numbered merely in the thousands as luxury sporting items for the wealthy. Americaâ€™s largest cities had already undergone major spatial change during the nineteenth century- steam ferries and railroads enabled commutes and inverted cities to a pattern of suburban affluence and central urban despair. Metropolitan growth was accompanied by rapid population growth at the periphery that was later complemented by the automobile (Jackson, 20). Motor vehicles were at first replacements for horse powered ones, offering improved city sanitation and assumed to reduce city congestion by replacing less powerful carriages. American cities could, at first, easily adapt by storing these vehicles in the same curbside space that horses had occupied (Jakle & Sculle, 46). However, production of automobiles and their embrace by a class of Americans who had never before owned horse-drawn carriages rapidly and unexpectedly increased. Henry Ford famously revolutionized automobile production in 1912 with the assembly line system for producing the Model T, which lowered its price from $825 in 1910 to $345 in 1916 and transformed the automobile from a luxury item to an attainable symbol of modernity for the middle class. At the same time, Ford doubled worker salaries and imposed a fixed eight-hour work day, which created more leisure time for producers to also be consumers, and promoted more democratic access to the automobile (Ingersoll, 78). The car soon became a symbol of the American dream; it was not just a practical means of transportation, but a symbol of freedom, the ability to be efficient, on the move, and resistant to undue authority in pursuit of material success, convenience, and personal satisfaction. Through a time of political and economic turmoil, the automobile remained as a symbol of progress for a nation eager to move on from World War I and later the Great Depression. Vehicle registration continued to rise steadily throughout the first half of the twentieth century, as architects, planners, and car manufacturers alike envisioned the future of American cities focused on the culture of driving.
Horses, Streetcars & Automobiles in Los Angeles, 1910 16
Architects were quick to address this rising culture. Le Corbusier was particularly taken by the forms and technologies of automobiles; his 1922 Ville Contemporaine city for three million proposed efficient movement of machines and democratic access to green space through vertical stacking of transportation infrastructure and uniform sixty-story skyscrapers that afforded little consideration for the human scale and removed pedestrians from the street (Ingersoll, 82). This â€œtower in the parkâ€? design was adapted in his later proposals, including La Ville Radieuse in 1935 which had pre-fabricated apartment units as the center of a more compact urban life than was offered by garden city suburbs. Ultimately none of his city scale plans were realized but Le Corbusier was able to respond to the changing city on individual unites (Ingersoll, 83). In Frank Lloyd Wrightâ€™s Broadacre City architecture and automobiles existed harmoniously. Wright first published the project in The Disappearing City in 1932, arguing that we should embrace technology and allow it to free us from the congested city. It was both a decentralized planning scheme and sociopolitical statement, in which each US family received one acre of federal land surrounded by roadways for ensured automobility and proximity to factories, skyscrapers, schools, and recreation, all fed by super-highways. Wright continued to develop the project until his death in 1959, and though it was never built, many elements were adapted in later planned cities such as Greenbelt, Maryland, and it remains significant as a moment in time
when architecture first attempted to reconcile the automobile.
Ville Radieuse section Ville Contemporaine sketch Broadacre City
While architects and city planners were interested in the implications of automobility, automobile makers were equally invested in American cities, for saturating the market required a physical geography that could accommodate their product. In 1930, Paul Hoffman, vice president of Studebaker Motors, stated that “The automobile industry is intensely interested in the progress of city planning-for the very sound reason that a continual increase in motor sales in the U.S.A. depends largely on developing more efficient traffic accommodation in metropolitan areas” (Ingersoll, 77). At this time, post-war America was experiencing a synthesis of political and industrial power, and the automobile industry was gaining a greater influence beyond consumer purchasing. The American highway system became the subject of large public works campaigns during the Depression, with four percent of 1932’s unemployed put to work building highways (Ingersoll, 86). The most important act of promotion for a unified national highway system came from General Motors at the 1939 World Fair at Flushing Meadows in New York, where GM played the new role of automobile
producer as city planner. Their sponsored Futurama pavilion shared an optimism for the personal automobile’s role in future development with fairgoers. The pavilion, designed in the aerodynamic aesthetic applied to car bodies, housed the exhibition “World of Tomorrow,” that envisioned the city of 1960, styled by Norman Bel Geddes, a supporter of highways. Spectators were seated on a conveyor belt that carried them on a fifteen-minute ride through models of the future city at different scales with multimedia clips along the way. The envisioned Futurama city used Le Corbusier’s principle of separating the pedestrian from the automobile in a city of scattered high-rises and elevated freeways. Five million fairgoers visited the pavilion, and an estimated twenty million people saw the film “New Horizons” that was released based on the pavilion’s contents, which gave General Motors a large voice to sell the message of freeways, urban-renewal demolition, and a city built at the scale of the automobile (Ingersoll, 87).
While many Americans became exposed to the possibility of an automotive future, Americaâ€™s entrance into World War II in 1941 directed focus toward providing roads for military use, that in turn advanced the nationâ€™s infrastructure for private transportation despite wartime conditions. By the end of the war, civilians on a victory high and returning veterans embraced the idea of the American dream with a new national pride and enthusiasm towards technology that was perfectly embodied by the personal automobile; its role as a symbol of freedom, mobility, consumer culture, and technical advancement had never meant more.
The increasingly pervasive culture of driving combined with the post-war construction boom to create new architectural typologies that catered to the street and the driver. The drive-thru and residential attached garage played to the convenience of driving, allowing people to stay in their cars as much as possible, with little or no transition from driver to pedestrian before engaging built space. Covered garages stacked parking to densify automobile land use, while strip mall retail and suburban housing developments sprawled away from the city leaving room for parking and travel in between.
Strip Mall Retail
Suburban Housing with Attached Garage
Jonn Rawlingâ€™s photograph published in the November 1952 issue of Vogue combined high fashion with the unlikely setting of the parking garage, alluding to the car as an econmic stimulator and asserting its presence in popular culture.
â€œAmericans...willingly spent the money to live in one place, work in another, and create yet two other places, the highway to travel between work and home and the parking place framing both ends of this traveling experience.â€? -Jakle & Sculle, 231
The driving culture that the nation had so embraced for the first half of the century had a significant impact on both old and new cities, and it wasn’t long before architectural critics took notice. Lewis Mumford understood both the power the automobile had over Americans and its destructive potential. In 1958, he wrote “the current American way of life is founded not just on motor transportation but the religion of the motorcar, and the sacrifices that people are prepared to make for this religion stand outside the realm of rational criticism. Perhaps the only thing that could bring Americans to their senses would be a clear demonstration of the fact that their highway program will, eventually, wipe out the very area of freedom that the private motorcar promised to retain for them” (Mumford, 92-3). Cars had only transferred city congestion to the highways, and eliminated the pedestrian movement and railroad systems our cities were founded on. Mumford foresaw cities turning into “a tangled mess of highways, interchanges, and parking lots...a mechanized nonentity ground under an endless procession of wheels,” which is a fairly accurate description of many contemporary American driverdependent cities (Mumford, 106). Similarly, Jane Jacobs questioned “how to accommodate intricate and concentrated city land use without destroying the related transportation,” in The Death and Life of Great American Cities in 1961 (Jacobs, 340). She argues that automobiles themselves are not inherent destroyers of cities and that automobile development happened to coincide with the anti-city sentiments of the architecturally, sociologically, legislatively, and financially developed suburb, however, we added too many cars until they were “choked by their own redundancy,” negating the supposed freedoms they allowed (Jacobs, 343).
Jacobs imagined two possible outcomes in the city versus automobile battle - either the automobile would win and erode cities with its appetite for urban space and disregard for the pedestrian, or cities would win causing an attrition of automobiles that could no longer be accommodated by the urban fabric (Jacobs, 349). We have yet to see the attrition of automobiles, and it is clear which entity reigns today. The oil shortage of the 1970’s made Americans reexamine the costs of automobility; it was clear that an oil shortage was truly a national crisis because of our driving dependency, but it was too late to change (Kay, 265). Though fuel standards were raised and the average automobile decreased in size, it became apparent that nothing could rid us of our car addiction. Having faced the economic, political, and cultural implications of an automotive society, the public became disenchanted with the promise of the automobile, but could not reject it entirely. The changing American feeling towards our automotive culture is exemplified by artist Ed Ruscha’s Standard Oil pieces. The first, done in 1964, depicts the roadside Standard Oil gas station in its glory as a celebrated part of the new American landscape in bright optimistic colors. Ruscha revisited this image with a new perspective in 1989, portraying the station as a blurred silhouette foregrounded against a dark and hazy sky, indicative a more negative attitude regarding the artifacts of automobiles that were once so highly valued.
1941- US enters WWII
1939 World Fair
1929- start of Great Depression
1918- WWI ends
(Data Source: US Census Bureau)
1917- US enters WWI
As car ownership and dependency have increased, negative perceptions have caused us only to ignore the automobile in architecture and urbanism, essentially allowing for the erosion of cities that Jacobs predicted in 1961. The spaces that we design for and around the automobile are barely considered beyond technical efficiency, and we find ourselves now stuck in state of simultaneous discontent and dependence.
1912- assembly line introduced to Model T production
Though the perception of the automobile has shifted from our early optimism to a more realistic view of how depending on driving has affected our cities and quality of life, US vehicle registration has risen steadily since 1900, with the number of cars approaching the nationâ€™s population. Attempts at turning the tide of automobility came too late- the car was already socially, economically, politically, and physically enmeshed into the fabric of the city (Bell, 15).
2001- Sept 11
1945- WWII ends
1961- Death and Life of Great Americcan Cties
1973 Oil Crisis
The car is successful nont just as an efficient product; it has saturated our culture and created an experience. Images of a carefree drive down the open road with the top down, the teenager anxiously awaiting his drivers license, and kids and suitcases piled in the back seat for a family road trip pervade popular culture. Each car is a private space in which we not only reach our destination, but can sing along to the radio, order a cheeseburger, or watch a movie, screening all from the driver seat. Manufacturers know how to market the automobile not as an object, but as an experience, much in the way that architecture has the power to do. Automobiles progressed and evolved in ways that allowed them to stay relevant throughout 20th century, and people have continued to choose this form of private transportation. Rather than adapting the spectacle and experience of driving to the experience of the spaces at our driven-to destinations, architecture in response has for decades simply repeated the same banal and placeless typologies of parking that don’t effectively mediate the two experiences.
Contemporary car advertisements don’t focus on the car as a mode of transportation, but on aesthetics and performance- the car as a cherished possession and extension of our personalities. This 2012 Mercedes Benz ad markets both the beauty of its product and the experience of driving, “built for those who are always on the move.”
Cars are often portrayed in motion, but what happens when they stop? The destination that one would reach in their Mercedes is unlikely to deviate from the limited forms of parking garages that have barely evolved since the 1950s. By leaving parking to developers and engineers, architects have missed out on the potential to construct these spaces as a part of the architectural experience. (Pictured above- parking at The Grove Extension, LA)
This also applies to the way we draw cars and the structures that contain them. Cut-away and ghosted three dimensional drawings of cars portray the complexity of their systems that must fit within an aesthetically pleasing body. Itâ€™s mechanical functionality, driver environment, and exterior appearance can be viewed simultaneously as one fully integrated system. Parking structures, however, are reduced to simple repetitive floor plates with little concern for their experiential and spatial qualities beyond maximizing vehicle storage. Through these modes of representation, the automobile has evolved and the parking garage has stagnated.
What has made parking so detrimental to our cities is that we allowed this lack of design consideration to continue for so long and at such large scales. By 1960 in Los Angeles, 28% of the land was covered by streets for cars in motion, and 38% was dedicated to their off street parking (Jakle & Sculle, 10). This was typical of many cities developing around driving- a full two-thirds of their central business district was dedicated space for the automobile that failed to integrate with the architecture. This should have been seen as a great design opportunity, however parking was an afterthought, a non-place occupying abandoned lots and surrounding the bases of our buildings.
Parking was considered only in practical and facilitative terms, with little focus on aesthetics, spatial quality, or its significance as the transition between automobile and building. Parking as mere extension of automotive space looks the same, no matter where it is in the city, or what city itâ€™s in at all. The four images of parking below are from four different cities, and yet they are indistinguishable. â€œNothing
over the past century in America has proven as disruptive of traditional urban landscape as parking. Perhaps nothing has made American cities less memorableâ€? (Jakle & Sculle, 8).
Parking in Los Angeles, Phoenix, Atlanta & Houston
Precedents Architectural space that serves the automobile has the potential to capture the movement and form of the car within a static building body- â€œas if the vehicle, in the exact moment that the car is switched off, transfers its kinetic energy to the buildingâ€? (van Uffelen, 7). Architects have long been inspired by the carâ€™s form and materiality, emulating these technological characteristics in built form. Car manufacturers have invested in impressive architecture for the display of their machines in showrooms and museums as spectacle, however, few architectural spaces have truly accommodated the function of the automobile. Parking garages have also seen a recent interest in their aesthetic qualities, however those that solely serve the function of parking, while structural and formal, do not include the programmed architectural space that this thesis aims to expand upon. The intersection between programmed space and the driver was first explored in mid century drive-thru restaurants and drive-in movie theaters- programmatic hybrids that, despite a complete disregard for architectural experience at the human scale of movement, were celebrated along with our obsession with the automotive experience. Since our disenchantment with the car, many of these typologies have disappeared in favor of full separation of parking from other programs, however some contemporary architects have started to reexamine this program and driver juxtaposition, incorporating human scale, free movement, and hybridized programs in varying degrees.
Car as Spectacle - Architecture as Showcase Architecture that puts automobiles on display often does not capture the function of cars and experience of driving. The three examples at the right put the car on display as a showroom, musuem, and parking garage, speaking only to the stationary car, however, are interesting examples of how architecture can be used to celebrate the car as an urban spectacle. Left: Volkswagen Autostadt, Wolfsburg, Germany // Top Right: Mercedes Benz Museum, Stuttgart, Germany by UN Studio // Bottom Right: Marina City towers, Chicago
Parking Aesthetics The aesthetics of parking have been of interest to many architects in recent garage projects. All of the garages at the right are examples of how artwork, building skins, and signage have become design features that enhance the quality of the parking garage as an object in the city. However, these skins all mask essentially the same plans and section of a standard parking garage with, at best, some ground floor retail. They are less of an eyesore, but donâ€™t address the garageâ€™s spatial qualities or ability to engage the street and buildings they connect. Clockwise from top left: Santa Monica parking garage by Brooks + Scarpa | Parkaden, Stockholm, by Hans Asplund | Essex Municipal Parking Garage, New York by Michielli + Wyetzner Architects | Santa Monica Civic Center garage by Moore Ruble Yudell Architects and Planners | Parking in Soissons, France, by Jacque Ferrier | Car Park One, Oklahoma City, by Elliot + Associates Architects
The Mountain Dwellings Copenhagen, Denmark BIG, 2008 2/3 parking 1/3 living In these dwellings, rather than having a parking block and housing block next to each other, BIG merged the two functions into a symbiotic relationship. Parking stays to connected to the street and creates a topography for the housing to sit atop, angled for sunlight, air, and views. As at 200 Eleventh Avenue, residents can directly access their units from their personal parking spacesuburban access at an urban density.
Souterrain Tram Tunnel The Hague, Netherlands OMA, 2004 tram tunnel & 2 tram stations parking for 375 cars pedestrian circulation OMAâ€™s Souterrain tram tunnel was conceived of as an element of infrastructure and a building at the same time- architecture applied to the rigour of transportation pragmatism. The multistory underground tunnel connects two tram stations and provides 500 parking spaces. All elements of the tunnelâ€™s program and circulation are connected physically or visually to minimize feelings of underground isolation, and therefore support interaction between pedestrian, driver, and building program.
1111 Lincoln Road Miami, FL Herzog & de Meuron, 2010 parking retail/dining event space adjoining offices Herzog & de Meuronâ€™s structure breaks the conventions of a typical parking garage. Irregular floor plates allow for light, air, and views to the city, and accommodate retail on the ground and fifth floors, and a penthouse apartment and restaurant at the top that create a public square in the air. Additionally, the space can be rented out for private events, transforming from parking to banquet hall or reception space at any time. Taking advantage of the public nature of a car park, the garage is exposed to the city and welcoming to both car and human scale.
Parkhouse / Carstadt Amsterdam, Netherlands NL Architects, 1996 (unbuilt) department store & shops office housing restaurants parking hotel This mixed use project gets its form from the ramped parking that becomes the roof of the structure. The ramped surface creates varying adjacencies between program and parking, and connects the driver to their destination.
Site: Los Angeles In The Death and Life of Great American Cities, Jane Jacobs sets up four conditions to “generate exuberant diversity in a city’s streets and districts.” 1. the district must serve more than one primary function, ensuring that people are outdoors at different schedules, in the same place for different reasons 2. most blocks must be short, opportunities to turn corners must be frequent 3. the district must have buildings that vary in age and condition 4. there must be a consistently dense population of people (residents and otherwise) The city of Los Angeles is host to a variety of programmatic uses, on short and fairly regular blocks, in a range of old and new buildings. The population density for the metropolitan area is actually even higher than in New York City, with high residential and day time populations. Jacobs argues that “given the development of these four conditions...a city district should be able to realize its best potential, wherever that may lie,” and that “obstacles to doing so will have been removed” (Jacobs, 151). Though LA satisfies the conditions of density and diversity, it remains driver dependent and closer to Jacobs’ eroded city than a city at its greatest potential. Los Angeles exemplifies the dominance of automotive space that this thesis focuses on. The Los Angeles metropolitan area has the second largest population in the United States, but this large city depends on driving and the spaces that support it. The city has long been associated with car culture, the urban epitome of America’s obsession with the automobile, making Los Angeles an effective site for testing a new relationship between automobile and architecture that could adapt its car culture into a more balanced urbanity.
San Gabriel Mountains
Santa Monica Mountains
Geographically, Los Angeles does not have an ideal location for a big city. Low rainfall and sporadically flowing rivers contribute to annual drought and fire risks; the surrounding mountains are geologically unstable; there are no natural harbors or ports, or nearby sources of raw material. LA’s rise to prominence has historically been as a “remarkable victory of human cunning over the so-called limits of nature” (Fulton, 6). Aside from its mild climate, Los Angeles’ only natural advantage is an abundance of land- vast valleys and plains that offer seemingly boundless opportunity for expansion. Developers have taken advantage of this, consuming the land by creating pockets of concentrated density throughout the landscape connected by its famous automotive infrastructure.
Though nothing about Los Angeles is inherently auto-oriented, it did emerge as the prototypical automobile city for other reasons. LA had been a city of only 102,000 people in 1900, but by 1930 had over 1.2 million residents. The relative newness of the city meant that this increase paralleled the rise of the automobile, and thus its shape, character, and routines were influenced by widespread use of the car (Longstreth, xli). Immigrating Midwesterners who had cashed out of the family farm sought a reminder of their rural past without the harsh realities of agrarian life, and settled into LAâ€™s early subdivisions that offered private plots of land within access of urban amenities (Fulton, 129). The land for expansion was vast and could continue endlessly as long as streetcar lines followed this development. When the automobile became available to everyday consumers, it was especially popular in Los Angeles for the very reason that it could further this mode of development that had already been established. For the rising system of private automobile transportation, early twentieth century Los Angeles truly was the right place at the right time; and thus began LAâ€™s love affair with the car that fit so perfectly into its decentralized urbanity.
Postcards from Los Angeles that don’t picture the beaches or symbols of Hollywood, feature automobiles. While transportation infrastructure is simply background in other cities, it has become a symbol of LA’s identity. British architectural historian and critic Reyner Banham “learned to drive in order to read Los Angeles in the original...like earlier generations of English intellectuals who taught themselves Italian in order to read Dante in the original” (Banham, 5). His driven experience of the city was documented in the 1972 BBC documentary appropriately titled “Reyner Banham Loves LA.”
Though the current landscape of Los Angeles consists of freeways, strip malls, and crowded parking lots with a lack of widespread transit infrastructure compared to other dense American cities, it is important to note that it was not a city built around the automobile. Interurban systems of streetcars connected disparate settlements and facilitated long distance commuting before the automobile. Streetcar coverage was extensive enough to serve the diffuse urban field of the Los Angeles Basin, ultimately allowing for a mixed use development that didnâ€™t rely on the traditional city center/periphery relationship. The principle purpose of transportation was to move people to otherwise inaccessible areas, expanding the city endlessly outward (Fulton, 128).
major roads Los Angeles railroad Pacific Electric railroad LA city boundary
The current land use map of LA shows the success of this expansion- mixed development of residential, commercial, and industrial uses are dispersed throughout the landscape, connected once by street cars, and now by private automobiles.
1938 Los Angeles Railway map 48
ERSIDE RIV DR
DO AN FERN
AD W AY
BLVD RO CK
CA HU EN G
EA G LE
IZ LOS FEL
N SA A RN FE
R FIG U
ING NT HU
GLENDALE BLVD WILSHIRE BLVD
BL VD VA LL
NT RA L AV E CE
ST RO BLV D
MARTIN LUTHER KING , JR BLV D
OVERHIL L DR
CITY OF COMMERCE
Los Angeles City Boundary Community Plan Boundary Freeways Major Streets
Commercial Limited Commercial Neighborhood Commercial General Comm. & Highway Oriented Mixed Use Comm./Res. Community Commercial Regional Mixed Regional Commercial
LONG BEACH AVE
BELL CENTRAL AVE
BL VD A ER TIJ
LA AIRPORT BLVD
ARBOR VITAE ST
LA CIENEGA BLVD
CENTE R S T
BR O AD WAY
LA BREA AVE
STOC K ER ST
SA N JEFFER SO
AV E ND
MAI N ST
M AR E NG O
FIG UE RO A
BLV D HAW NS
AVE FAIR FAX
D B LV
Open Space and Public Facilities Open Space Public Facilties
L A CIENEGA BLVD
ICE BLVD VEN
AY W ST G AD RIN SP
VIC EN TE
AU DR Y AV
A LV AR AD
Multi-Family Residential Low Medium Low Medium I Low Medium II Medium High Medium High Very High
LA BREA AVE
Industrial Commercial Manufacturing Limited Industrial Light Industrial Heavy Manufacturing
SANTA MONICA BLVD
E SID ER
Y WA AD RO
T AS HE
RT NO AD RO
Single Family Residential Minimum Very Low Very Low I Very Low II Low Low I Low II
2011 Los Angeles Land Use map
49 ROSECRANS AVE
“Unlike almost every other city in the world, metropolitan Los Angeles did not grow by radiating from a single center. It appeared when many different centers blurred together” (Fulton, 8). The result of Los Angeles’ development is a unique urban form and population density. LA has been held as a poster child for sprawl, but this is largely untrue. Sprawl generally refers to a lack of density, but since the 1980s LA has been one of the densest urbanized areas in the United States (Manville & Shoup, 2). An examination of the “urbanized areas” of Los Angeles and New York City as defined by the US Census Bureau (which includes both the city boundaries and its suburbs), reveals that LA actually has more people per square mile than New York (Newton). Though the city of New York is denser than LA, Los Angeles has much denser suburbs and a more uniform density; LA suburbs have 82 percent of the density of its central city, whereas New York’s suburban density is merely 12 percent of its central city density (Manville & Shoup, 4). Cars did not cause the urban form of Los Angeles, but rather its urban form enabled the automobile to succeed as an efficient means of navigating the consistent density. Los Angeles & New York City urbanized areas Population Density by census tract 0-3K 3-13K 13-25K 25K + 50
Urbanized Area (sq. miles)
Population per sq. mile
Vehicles per sq. mile
New York City
Neighborhood Selection The specific area of Los Angeles in which to test this thesis must be analyzed in terms of certain criteria. Areas that satisfy Jane Jacobs’ four conditions for a city to reach its best potential, yet are lacking in urban experiential quality, will be most effective for testing a new parking typology in a car dependant area. Most districts in the Los Angeles Basin (south of the Santa Monica Mountains) already satisfy Jacobs’ criteria of short blocks and buildings of varying age and condition, however specific neighborhoods vary in population densities and land use. The ideal site has a high population density, at or above the average population density for the city as a whole. In complement to this residential density, the neighborhood must also host a variety of mixed uses (commercial, industrial, or otherwise) that ensure a high daytime population of non-residents, and also offer potential programs that can be better combined with parking. Sites that satisfy these conditions of urbanity but rely heavily on automobile transportation will best exemplify the city’s fragmented driver, automobile, and architecture relationship. An abundance of existing parking will also provide the most opportunities to operate on. Westlake, Hollywood, Century City, and Mid Wilshire satisfy these basic conditions and were analyzed for comparison as possible sites. Westlake, though it has the most urban form in response to its density, is highly residential as it relies on its proximity to the Central Business District of downtown for more mixed uses. Hollywood is also largely residential with industrial zoned film studios that attract a daytime population of employees and tourists, however, given the automobile’s historical 52
relationship to retail a more commercial center would be ideal. Century City offers this commercial center, with a large mall as well as housing, 20th Century Fox, and offices in some of the city’s only high rises outside of downtown. Its not quite urban or suburban qualities create interesting conditions in which this thesis could be tested, however potential sites are limited due to the neighborhood’s small size. Mid Wilshire is home to the stretch of Wilshire Boulevard known as the Miracle Mile which was developed as a commercial rival to downtown that would serve automobile traffic. Retail, offices, museums, and their parking lots line the boulevard, which is surrounded by housing at a variety of densities. Ultimately, Mid Wilshire satisfies the conditions of residential and daytime population densities and has one of the most interesting mixes of land use and programs. Its history of development parallels that of the automobile as is evidenced in its urban form, and it has all of the supposed conditions of urbanity at its highest potential- population density, short blocks, and mixed uses, yet remains driver-dependent. Mid Wilshire’s mix of people, cars, and buildings makes it an ideal location for rethinking their relationships.
Land Use (low density > > high density) Residential Commercial Industrial Open Space
2.72 square miles 117,756 38,212
#2 densest LA neighborhood
3.51 square miles
0.70 square miles
2.78 square miles
#7 densest LA neighborhood
#127 densest LA neighborhood
#42 densest LA neighborhood
Site: 6000 Wilshire Boulevard After the automobile became LA’s primary means of transportation, Wilshire Boulevard became the first traffic corridor to the ocean following the city’s westward expansion. Though it was initially residential, its’ high traffic made it less attractive for living and more attractive for shopping and business, and developer A.W. Ross negotiated with the city to change the zoning of individual sites along the boulevard to accomodate retail. The offices and stores that populated Wilshire with easy accessibility to automobiles successfully pulled the city out along the strip as it expanded toward the ocean, while creating a three dimensional diagram of the auto-oriented zoning (Barden, 158). Building height and densities are highest along the main road within view of passing car, and shops on the mile were designed for motorized access with parking lots and entries at the rear, resulting in “the first linear downtown, with residential areas immediately behind the parking-lots,” and a “transitional monument to the dawn of automobilism” (Banham, 69). This development along the major axis of Wilshire Boulevard creates an ideal context of architecture designed in response to automobility. The lot at 6000 Wilshire is owned by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art which has a campus accross the street and uses the space for employee parking. It is situtated within “Museum Row” but also in proximity of many neighboring office buildings and major retail locations, and the low density residential area immediately beyond Wilshire Boulevard.
* 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11
3 La Cienega
6 Detroit St
* Curs on
W 6th St
W 8th St W 8th St
Proposed Site Beverly & La Cienega Beverly Center CBS The Grove Park La Brea (residences) LACMA campus La Brea Tar Pits Miracle Mile end Miracle Mile start Petersen Auto Museum NBC Universal
W llsshi Wi hire r Boulevard re Boullle eva vard Elevations vard Ele leva atition ons on ns & Key K y Buildings Ke Bu uilild dingss ding Wilshire
Johnieâ€™s Coffee Sh op Restau Armet + Davis, 19 rant 55 19 ft
future Osc ar museu previous m ly May C ompany Albert C departm Martin & ent store Samuel A 70 ft Marx, 19 39
Broad C ontempo rary Renzo Pi ano, 2008 Art Museum, LA CMA 70 ft
Kreedman Office Bu Sidney Ei ilding senhtat, 1959 60 ft
nue Petersen Automot ive Museu previous ly Seibu m Dep Wurdenm an + Be artment Store cket, 1947 58 ft
6200 Wils hire Office 174 ft s
ge G rove Ave
ax A ven
Ahmanso n William Pe Gallery, LACMA reira, 1962 76 ft
New Wils hire Office Johnson Building Fain Arch itects, 19 222 ft 83
Mutual Be ne Pereira As fit Life Plaza sociates , 1968 443 ft
Museum Square previously Prudential Insurance Building Wurdeman + Becket, 1948 180 ft
e elin A venu
5700 Wilshire Blvd 92 ft
on A venu Curs
e ley A venu Stan
Spauldin g Avenu e
on A venu
Los Ange le Hardy H s County Museu m of Art olzman Pf eiffer, 19 93 ft 82
Like Le Corbusier’s “architectural corridors of grand proportions, with implications for an urban space where the ‘center’ is the vanishing point- always just ahead of you as you move down a linear corridor constructed for efficiency and economy...Wilshire [is] the ideal center to a city that dreams of itself in perpetual, vehicular motion.” -Barden, 161
Perspective down Wilshire from East
Perspective down Wilshire from West
Miracle Mile Parking Parking consumes a high perecentage of the land use on the Mircale Mile, wether it be street parking, below grade (or below building), surface lots, or multi-level structures. It signifies the dominance of automobility, but does not offer an efficient transition to architectural space. street (metered) parking below grade parking surface parking lot parking garage/structure
This area of Wilshire Boulevard has been undergoing many recent changes. The site at 6000 Wilshire was recently acquired by LACMA in 2008; an existing parking garage was demolished but the site is now being used as museum employee parking with no immediate plans for redevelopment (Smith). LACMA across the street was recently renovated by Renzo Piano in 2008 and has Michael Heizer’s Urban Light installation at its main entrance. Also planned for the campus are Heizer’s Levitated Mass and Jeff Koons’ Train. The May Company building on site has been acquired by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences with plans to locate a motion picture museum. The city’s purple line extension has a planned stop at Wilshire and Fairfax, but the exact location and entrance have yet to be determined. Greg Lynn also proposed a cafe and pavilion at 5900 Wilshire that is currently on hold. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
Garage demolished at site 1959-2008 before & after Wilshire & Fairfax purple line station proposed 2013 May Company building - future Academy Museum site of Michael Heizer’s Levitated Mass - 2012 site of Jeff Koons’ Train sculpture - 2012 Michael Heizer’s Urban Light 5900 Wilshire cafe & pavilion proposal by Greg Lynn
Fai rfax Ave
Automotive Motion & Site Access
Parking - Street, Surface, Underground & Garages
Program: Parking Parking lots & garages â€œconnect the openness of a street with the enclosure of a building as ultimate destinationâ€? (Jakle & Sculle, 9). The design for testing this thesis must address the problem of cars at rest and parking as the place in the city where driver transitions from automotive to architectural space. As a program, parking must satisfy quantitative conditions- both in terms of the number of spaces according to the architectural program it serves, and in terms of the space and layouts required to accomodate the size of automobiles and their scale of motion. This project aims to preserve these quantitative requirments while reimagining the quality and performance of parking space.
City of Los Angeles Summary of Parking Requirements Los Angeles Department of Building & Safety
Parking Quantity The average American city has
3 parking spaces for every car Parking accounts for 1/3
of city land use
Successful downtowns thrive on density, and “must receive a critical mass of people every day but do so without clogging itself to the point of paralysis” (Manville & Shoup, 4). The approach for many cities has been to provide off-street parking, though the requirements each city sets vary. Los Angeles requires off street parking, setting minimums according to program type (Manville & Shoup, 5). Uses of the phrase “whichever is greater” and “minimum” requirements are telling of the city’s attitude towards driving and parking from a zoning standpoint, and reveal the constraints within which architects and developers must work. The link between driver access and commercial success is well proven and developers are economically incentivized to include parking, which is why many cities find the need to set maximums. LA, however, continues to enforce an ensured automotive convenience for its drivers.
Use of Building (or portions of) - Commercial Uses 1. Health or Athletic Club, Bath House, Dance Hall/Studio, Gymnasium, or similar
1 per 100
2. Restaurant, Cafe, Coffee Shop, Bar, Night Club, or similar
1 per 100
3. Small Restaurant, Cafe, or Coffee Shop (1000 sq. ft. or less)
1 per 200
4. Take-out Restaurant (no eating on the premises)
1 per 250
5. Retail or Discount Wholesalers
1 per 250
6. Retail Furniture, Major Appliances, or similar
1 per 500
7. Auditoriums: Church, High School, College, Stadium, Theater, similar assembly
1 per 35 or 1 per 5 fixed seats
8. Elementary School, Child Care
1 per classroom or minimum 1 per 500
9. Commercial School: Trade, Music, Professional, or similar a) Classrooms and assembly areas
b) Classrooms with heavy equipment
1 per 50 or 1 per 5 fixed seats, whichever is greater 1 per 500
10. Philanthropic Institution, Government Office, or similar
1 per 500
11. Commercial or Business Office
1 per 500
12. Medical Office, Clinic, or Medical Service Facility
1 per 200
2 per bed
14. Sanitarium or Convalescent Home
1 per 500 or min 0.2 per bed
15. Warehouse or Storage (for Household Goods) - first 10,000 sq. ft. - beyond 10,000 sq. ft
1 per 500 (plus) 1 per 5000
16. Other Business or Commercial (not listed above) 17. Auto Dismantling Yard, Junk Yard, or Open Storage in the M2 or M3 zones
Ratio (spaces/sq. ft.)
1 per 500 6 for first acre, 1 per 12,000 sq. ft. for the second acre and 1 for each acre over two
â€œA parking lot did not need to be anything other than a straightforward container for its function.â€? -Jakle & Sculle, 98
Parking structures are thought of as places to leave as quickly as possible - dark, damp, & unsafe. Designed only for efficiency and maximum storage capacity, their role in the transition from automotive to architectural space is not considered.
Parking Dimensions & Spatial Requirements
Accessible Height Clearance
Accessible Parking Stall Size
Parking Stall Size
Access to Vertical Circulation
Minimum Parking Stall Sizes
11.7 - 12.7 ft
8.25 - 9.00 sf
9.5 - 10.4 ft
8.25 - 9.00 sf
8.5 - 9.3 ft
8.25 - 9.00 sf
8.3 - 9.0 ft
8.25 - 9.00 sf
41 ’’-0 23’-0 ” 18’-0”
12’-0 ” 8’-0”
Parking & Circulation
13 ’-6 ” 12’-0”
” ’6 26 N I M
24’ -0” R
Minimum Two Lane Turning Radius
36 ’-0 ”
Two Lane Minimum Turning Radius in Parking Area
” ’-6 14 IN M 24 ’-0 MI ” R N
Minimum Single Lane Turning Radius
Single Lane Minimum Turning Radius in Parking Area
Non-parking Ramp with Pedestrian Circulation
Parking Ramp Slope
1 SLOPE: 5 - 6.5%
SLOPE: 12% MAX (30’-0” MAX LENGTH)
Non-parking Ramp without Pedestrian Circulation
SLOPE: 15% MAX
Ramped Garage Typologies
Two Way Single Helix
Central Two Way Ramp
One Way Double Helix
Typical Structural Bays
Sitcast Concrete System - Poured in Place
Poured in Place Two-way Systems (pan-joist or waffle slab)
Precast or Steel Structures
Steel Columns between Slabs
Program - Site Fit Existing parking & possilbe vertical strategies
Total Programmable Area: 29,485 sq ft
Current Parking: 70 spaces
Two-way Single Helix: 82 spaces per level of parking
Split Level: 80 spaces per level of parking
System Integration Opportunities As an interface between two of the nationâ€™s highest contributors to carbon emissions, parking has the opportunity to integrate their systems and energy sources. Vehicle-to-Grid (V2G) technology intersects the transportation and utility sectors, allowing the bidirectional sharing of electricity between electric vehicles and the electric power grid. Each vehicle can be used as a storage system for power that is available to the grid during peak power usage. This technology would allow automobiles and architectural program to share energy and benefit from eachother in a symbiotic relationship.
Americaâ€™s Carbon Emissions:
25 % Industrial 43 % Buildings
Similarly, the urban heat island effect created by large paved surfaces and heat given off by cars (even after they are parked) can be recaptured and used mechanical building systems. The kinetic energy of moving cars can also be captured and converted to electric power for buildings. Plates installed in a parking surface with generators below get pushed down by the weight of the car and can capture that energy.
32% Transportation (11% Passenger Cars)
Program: Hybrids Though parking is the focus of the program, this space can, and should, do more than store cars. Integrating the human scale, freedom of motion, and accomodation of program will allow the systems of automotive and architectural space to dissolve their exclusive definitions. A hyper-programmed parking facility will have to acknowledge the cityâ€™s basic quantitative needs for parking, but can densify the space with additional program that can take advantage of parkingâ€™s temporal needs.
The automobile and driver experience have been integrated with architectural program before- the drive-thru fast food window, drive-thru bank teller, and drive-in movie have all become part of our automotive culture and urban fabric. Following this logic, what else could be combined with driving and parking?
+ + + 84
gym/fitness center running track
dining fast food charginig stations
hotel/hostel reading area theater seating
retail grocery market
Parking = Motion
Scale of Car Single Program
Motion Restricted Movement Scale of Car Single Program 86
Restricted Movement Scale of Car Single Program
Stasis Motion Free Movement Restricted Movement Scale of Person Scale of Car Programmatic Flexibility
Scale of Person Programmatic Flexibility
Stasis Free Movement Scale of Person Programmatic Flexibility
The one-point perspective view symbolizes the city in vehicular motion, constantly in pursuit of the vanishing point somewhere in the distance. However within this view, automotive and architectural space are very clearly defined and separated- one surface of paved road ahead, enclosed by a wall of seemingly impenetrable buildings. As a hybridized space, these systems will interact by incorporating programmatic elements that are accessible by car both formally and conceptually.
Conclusion In the city of Los Angeles, a pervasive driver culture has contributed to an imbalance and disconnect between automotive and architectural space. A high quantity of parking dominates the space between buildings, and the spaces to store cars are both aesthetically uninteresting and ineffective as a transition between the two spaces of the city. The automobile was successfully welcomed into our culture as an experience more than as a consumer product. Architecture has this same potential to create a spatial experience from a building object; however, when it comes to parking a major design opportunity to create an experience out of the destinations our driving journeys end in has been missed. I contend that parking is simultaneously an architectural and automotive space, and therefore should encompass the scales, movements, and programs of each.The cityâ€™s necessary amount of parking can be made more efficient by adapting multiple uses, and contribute to a new hybrid architectural and automotive experience.
Fifth Street: Los Angeles, California 1910. 1910. Witteman Collection, Los Angeles. Photograhpium Historic Photo Archive. <http://www.photographium.com/fifth-street-los-angeles-california-1910>.
Adapted section and original sketch. Fondation Le Corbusier Archive. <http://www.fondationlecorbusier.fr/corbuweb>. Broadacre City sketch from “Broadacre City.” ArchitectureTheory.net. <http://www.mediaarchitecture.at/architekturtheorie/broadacre_city/2011_broadacre_model_en.shtml>.
General Motors. “Highways and Horizons” Brochure. New York, 1939.
John Rawlings. “Parking Garage.” John Rawlings: 30 Years in Vogue. Arena Editions, 2001.
MacLean, Alex. “Large Houses on Small Lots.” <www.alexmaclean.com /#/portfolio/dwelling>. MacLean, Alex. “Highway Interchange.” <www.alexmaclean.com/#/portfolio/going>. MacLean, Alex. “Parking Lot Markings.” <www.alexmaclean.com/#/portfolio/going>.
Ruscha, Ed. “Standard Station, Ten-Cent Western Being Torn in Half” 1964. Oil on canvas. Ed Ruscha. <www.edruscha.com>. Ruscha, Ed. “Untitled (Standard Station Silhouette).” 1989. Acrylic on canvas. Ed Ruscha. <www.edruscha.com>.
C-Class Coupe. Advertisement. Mercedesbenz.com. Mercedes Benz. Web. 23 Oct. 2011. <http://www.emercedesbenz.com/magazine>.
“2005 Audi Allroad concept cut-away.” <www.cartype.com/pages/230/car_cut-aways>.
Bassler, Bruce L. Architectural graphic standards: student edition. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, 2008.
Captured from Bing Maps bird’s eye view <maps.bing.com>.
Bjarke Ingels Group. <www.big.dk>.
Herzog & de Meuron. <www.herzogdemeuron.com>.
NL Architects. <www.nlarchitects.nl>.
Field, Matt. “Los Angeles from Getty.” Los Angeles. Http://www.photography.mattfield.com. 2006.
Adapted from ”1938 Los Angeles Railway Map.” Los Angeles Public Library. The Functionality. <http://www.thefunctionality.com/blog/2009/3/31/thestreetcars-that-time-forgot.html>.
“General Plan Land Use.” Map. 2011. LA Department of City Planning. <http://cityplanning.lacity.org/>.
Adapted from “Density, Car Ownership, and What It Means for the Future of Los Angeles.” Streetsblog Los Angeles. 13 Dec. 2010. <http:// la.streetsblog.org>.
Captured from Nokia Ovi maps <maps.nokia.com>.
Photos & renderings courtesty of Curbed LA <la.curbed.com>.
All drawings adapted from: Babyak, Budd, Costello, Crocker, Dicristofalo, Godfrey, Levine, Prattico, Treado, and Yacobellis. Parking. Northeastern University School of Architecture, Fall 2008. 99
Bibliography Banham, Reyner. Los Angeles: The Architecture of Four Ecologies. New York: Harper & Row, 1971. Banham’s study of LA’s “autopia” ecology and discussion of the automobile’s influence on the city’s development and culture are helpful as a reading of the city- particularly the Wilshire Boulevard area and its significance to both architecture and automobility. Bell, Jonathan. Carchitecture: When the Car and the City Collide. London: August, 2001. “Carchitecture” is defined as the space created in the wake of the automobile, examining the cultural shift towards a negative view of the car and how past movements, debates, and situations can lead to a new direction. Citing precedents of architecture and automobile design, this book advocates working with the car rather than against it and creating a reciprocal relationship between architecture and the car. Curbed LA : The Los Angeles Neighborhoods and Real Estate Blog. <http://la.curbed.com/>. A variety of articles on this website were referenced for site information including recent changes and future plans and proposals for the surrounding area. Fulton, William B. The Reluctant Metropolis: The Politics of Urban Growth in Los Angeles. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins UP, 2001. This book provides background on the history of LA’s growth & expansion, including the shift from public to private transportation. Ingersoll, Richard. Sprawltown: Looking for the City on its Edges. New York: Princeton Architectural Press, 2006. Ingersoll examines architecture’s historical relationship with the automobile as it relates to the development of sprawl and larger ideas about what automobility meant for our cities and society. 100
Jackson, Kenneth T. Crabgrass Frontier: the Suburbanization of the United States. New York: Oxford UP, 1985. Jackson also studies architecture and the automobile relevant to suburban expansion, tracing the evolution from public transit cities to more sprawling suburbs connected by automobile infrastructures. Jacobs, Jane. The Death and Life of Great American Cities. New York: Random House, 1961. Jacobs’ conditions for urbanity are of particular interest to this project, as Los Angeles satisfies these conditions yet is still missing something, potentially due to the rising automobile. Though this was published fifty years ago, it is interesting to discuss the outcome of Jacobs’ erosion of cities/attrition of automobile predictions. Jakle, John A., and Keith A. Sculle. Lots of Parking: Land Use in a Car Culture. Charlottesville: University of Virginia P, 2005. Jakle and Sculle focus their analysis of the automobile in the city in terms of parking, and the (non) places created by the space required for cars at rest. The emphasis on land use for parking and infrastructure proves the impact of the automobile on the form of our cities. Kay, Jane Holtz. Asphalt Nation: How the automobile took over America, and how we can take it back. New York: Crown, 1997. Kay traces the history of the automobile from a cultural and societal viewpoint nicely complements more architectural/urban sources. Longstreth, Richard. City Center to Regional Mall: Architecture, the Automobile, and Retailing in Los Angeles, 1920-1950. Cambridge, Mass: The MIT Press, 1998. This source provides information on how Los Angeles changed in form as it embraced the automobile in the first half of the twentieth century. Manville, Michael, and Donald Shoup. “People, Parking, and Cities.” Access Fall 2004: 2-8. <http://shoup.bol.ucla.edu/People,Parking,Cities.pdf>. A comparison of data and policies in Los Angeles, San Francisco, and New York dismisses myths about density and automobility, and reveals the key policy issues that differentiate parking requirements in each city. 101
“Mapping L.A.” Los Angeles Times. 12 Oct. 2011 <http://projects.latimes.com/mapping-la/neighborhoods/>. This interactive feature on the LA Times website presents statistics and census data for each neighborhood in Los Angeles for easy comparison and was helpful in identifying possible areas for intervention within the city. Mumford, Lewis. The Urban Prospect. New York: Harcourt, Brace & World, 1968. Mumford’s writing represents the beginning of a major turning point in popular opinion regarding the changing form of midcentury cities.Mumford’s early criticisms of the automobile and predicted future of automotive cities remains surprisingly relevant despite the 1968 publication date. Newton, Damien. “Density, Car Ownership, and What It Means for the Future of Los Angeles.” Weblog post. Streetsblog Los Angeles. 13 Dec. 2010. 29 Oct. 2011 <http://la.streetsblog.org>. This study comparing Los Angeles, New York, and San Francisco maps and reveals connections between population, density, urban form, and automobility. Shoup, Donald C. The High Cost of Free Parking. Chicago: Planners P, American Planning Association, 2005. Shoup focuses on the policies set in place for parking and their implications for urban planning and city life. Free parking costs us in terms of land use, wasteful requirements, and the further promotion of driving as the most efficient means of transportation. Uffelen, Chris Van. Automobile Architecture. Salenstein: Braun, 2011. This book catalogues a variety of recent projects involving the overlap of car and building, in showrooms, service stations, and parking garages. Though few case studies involved a critical take on driving, the examples were helpful in terms of materiality and design at the scale of the automobile. 102
Varnelis, Kazys, and Leah Meisterlin. The Infrastructural City: Networked Ecologies in Los Angeles. Barcelona: Actar, 2008. This series of essays presents an updated and expanded take on the “ecologies” of Los Angeles. Of particular interest to this project is Lane Barden’s “The Street” study of Wilshire Boulevard and LA’s linear urbanity.
Published on Jan 22, 2012
book completed for Thesis Preparation at Syracuse University School of Architecture, fall 2011