Finding somewhere to park your car in the city of London is notoriously difficult, especially if you are looking at parking outside of a recognised car parking area. When looking at the car parks in London you will notice that they are more than just bland and featureless structures, some of them are as close to being a work of art as a municipal building can be. Here are just a few of the more architecturally pleasing structures to be found in the city.
The Daimler Hire Garage
So this may not have been purposely designed as a car park for the masses, but this structure which was designed to accommodate the fleet of hire cars in Daimler’s stock is worthy of a mention. Built along Art Deco lines by Wallis Gilbert and Partners in the 1930’s it offered something different. Unlike many other similar buildings where the ramps that allow travel between the levels are hidden away in the centre of the structure, here they break through the clean lines of the building and jut out into the surrounding space. These days the building is home to an advertising agency rather than a fleet of luxury cars.
The Bloomsbury Square Car Park
Seated on the lawn in Bloomsbury Square you will not be able to see the car park mentioned here as you will be literally sitting on top of it. Yet if you could see it you would appreciate its absolute architectural brilliance. The design of the car park is based on the double helix of human DNA. Drivers enter through one strand and exit through the other. While the design may be aesthetically pleasing many drivers have been known to have trouble driving on the right side and there have been a number of collisions over the years with drivers coming head to head on either side of the helix.
The Brewer Street Car Park
This iconic garage was opened in 1928. While it is another excellent example of the clean lines of Art Deco architecture this building is notable for a couple of other things. At the time it was opened it offered twice the number of parking bays (it had 1,000) than any other car park in the country. As part of the original plans submitted by the architects there was also supposed to be a golf course built on the roof, but for some reason this was never brought to fruition. Unlike any other car park in the city, this one came with its own café for people that drove their own cars, plus a separate canteen for use by chauffeurs, after all a person of position could not be seen to be dining with the serving classes. The building is still in use every day as an NCP car park but the building itself has had listed status since 2002. There are also events held here occasionally such as a special screening of the movie Taxi Driver which was shown here in 2010.