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UBC Theses and Dissertations

A philosophical design approach for an alternative concept for the urban parking garage Chow, Leung Yen


This thesis proposes an expanded conceptualization of traditional parking garages. It is of contemporary design practice to separate the activity of parking from that of adjacent buildings and places. Doing so results in parking structures being exclusive and without positive urban context. As a consequence, barren and often, hostile environs are created within these garages. The thesis identifies this practice as a contributor to a discontinuity of urban movement and activity. The thesis also identifies the contradictory nature and ineffectiveness of facade decoration. Through four propositions developed from a philosophical design approach, which draws primarily from the work of Heidegger, the thesis proposes to engage human awareness so as to supplement the utilitarian nature of the traditional garage concept. It is suggested that doing so allows a positive environmental consciousness, and that active user participation can be elicited. It is also suggested that these propositions can potentially promote an integrity of construction and detailing, and that by overcoming the barren and hostile environs, a sense of civility and security can elevate the garage to a state of integrated function. Integrating the function of garages with those of other buildings can lead to a holistic use of site by facilitating urban continuity and, an architecture for garages richer in meaning than facade decoration.

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