Thames & Hudson £16.95 (free p&p) from the Independent Bookshop : 0870 079 8897
The Architecture of Parking, By Simon Henley
Friday 15 May 2009
This revelatory study opens our eyes to structures that we take for granted. It includes a car park that achieved stardom by appearing in Get Carter (Trinity Square, Gateshead) and another by star architect Zaha Hadid.
The bays in her Strasbourg creation are defined by slender vertical lights, which would not stay vertical for long had it been constructed in the UK. Chicago boasts a car-shaped car park, reminiscent of Claes Oldenburg, while the corkscrew skyscrapers of Marina City - cars occupy 15 of 59 storeys - are "the most heroic parking structure ever built".
A dazzling modernist structure in Detroit prefigures the Op-Art of Bridget Riley. Illustrated by Sue Barr's fine photography, a surprising number of car parks recorded here are empty, suggestive of a post-auto future.
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