During the last five years, Swiss architecture firm Herzog & de Meuron has designed a shimmering copper-clad art museum in San Francisco, a postmodern art gallery in Madrid, an iconic 90,000-seat Olympic stadium in Beijing—and, most recently, a Miami parking garage. It may seem strange for a Pritzker-winning firm such as Herzog & de Meuron to entertain a commission in the seemingly gray, utilitarian netherworld of public parking. Yet in Miami, where a zoning regulation limits street parking and makes garages highly profitable, the structures have become a commission du jour. Along with designs by noted architects and firms such as Enrique Norton, Arquitectonica, Perkins+Will, Zaha Hadid, FAIA, and Frank Gehry, FAIA, Herzog & de Meuron’s parking deck constitutes a revival that’s the inverse of Bilbao: in the Spanish seaport, one vibrant building revitalized a glum city. Here, a vibrant city has revitalized the potentially glummest kind of building. It’s a parking-garage renaissance that recalls a pantheon of innovative designs from decades past. Some fanciful ventures, such as Frank Lloyd Wright’s spiraling ziggurat designed for Maryland’s Sugarloaf Mountain, or Konstantin Melnikov’s 1,000-car structure intended to span the Seine, never made it off the boards. Here’s our look at the Esto images of four historic projects that did, as well as Herzog & de Meuron’s new Miami rendition.

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