Elliott + Associates has set about to reinvent the parking garage experience. The reinvention begins with renaming the place “Carpark” and envisioning a place to store cars. With a focus on functionality, safety and compatibility with the campus, the new Chesapeake Car Park makes a positive statement about the corporation itself and the value they place on the quality of the campus environment. For Chesapeake every detail reflects the image of themselves and the projected image for guests. The building covers a city block and stores 791 vehicles. With such a large scale the architects skinned the structure in 3/8” wide stainless steel mesh. The 25% open weave allows air movement as required by code and responds to the light in Oklahoma. With 300 sun-days per year the reflective quality of the mesh allows the surface to “dissolve” into the sky from reflections. The edges disappear and the surface provides a daily report on the ever-changing weather. A unique feature of the exterior is the aluminum outriggers on the east and south elevations. In an effort to “connect” the Car Park to the existing campus across the street the project incorporated masonry with a clay-fired 8” x 8” x 8” solar block in a matching color to the campus king size brick. The visual and material link is maintained between the modified Georgian campus architecture and the modern architecture across the street. Moreover, the stairs offer another opportunity to improve the experience while being useful as well. In an effort to reinvent the parking garage the building hides the cars from view to passersby with a 48” tall concrete bumper wall at the outer edge of each level to block the view of the vehicle from outside.
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