This is a guest post from Antonina of OpenBuildings - a community-driven and openly editable encyclopaedia of buildings from around the world, and very soon also - www.Clippings.com, a new design-inspiration project by the team behind OpenBuildings. 

Parking has been an important issue for cities for as long as the world turns with cars on it. While car parks are a vital public amenity whose lack or insufficiency could make city life as well as city tourism significantly unpleasant, the aesthetic aptitude of these infrastructures in urban context is sometimes questionable. It has become apparent, however, through an exciting line-up of recent thematic projects, that car parks can not only be matched with their urban neighbourhoods, they can in fact become instrumental in reviving them. Thoughtful intervention in their facades, which are the least semantically loaded element in this particular breed of buildings, could yield surprisingly positive effects on cities’ social, environmental and cultural climate.

Aedas: 18 Kowloon East

Aesthetic Car Parks? Yes, please.image: Aedas

Aesthetic Car Parks? Yes, please.image: Aedas

Peter Kunz Architektur: Car Park in Herdern

Aesthetic Car Parks? Yes, please.image: Peter Kunz Architektur

Aesthetic Car Parks? Yes, please.image: Peter Kunz Architektur

Allies and Morrison Architects: Charles Street Car Park

Aesthetic Car Parks? Yes, please.image: Dennis Gilbert / VIEW

Aesthetic Car Parks? Yes, please.image: Dennis Gilbert / VIEW

Mei Architecten en Stedenbouwers: Goblin Parking Garage

Aesthetic Car Parks? Yes, please.image: Jeroen Musch

Aesthetic Car Parks? Yes, please.image: Jeroen Musch

Craig & Karl: 72DP

Aesthetic Car Parks? Yes, please.image: Katherine Lu

Aesthetic Car Parks? Yes, please.image: Katherine Lu

Herzog & De Meuron: 1111 Lincoln Road

Aesthetic Car Parks? Yes, please.image: Nelson Garrido

Aesthetic Car Parks? Yes, please.image: Iwan Baan and MBEACH1

HPP Architects: Parking Garage of the Leipzig Zoo

Aesthetic Car Parks? Yes, please.image: HPP Architects

Aesthetic Car Parks? Yes, please.image: HPP Architects

N+B Architects: Parking Lot in Carros

Aesthetic Car Parks? Yes, please.image: Paul Kozlowski

Aesthetic Car Parks? Yes, please.image: Paul Kozlowski

Arquitectonica: Ballet Valet Parking Garage

Aesthetic Car Parks? Yes, please.image: Dan Forer

Aesthetic Car Parks? Yes, please.image: Dan Forer

Cheungvogl: Shinjuku Gardens Car Park

Aesthetic Car Parks? Yes, please.image: Cheungvogl

Aesthetic Car Parks? Yes, please.image: Cheungvogl