MODULO architects (BE) and de Jong Gortemaker Algra Architects (NL), together with engineering firm ELLYPS (BE), designed a staff parking garage with a capacity of 985 cars for Cliniques Universitaires Saint-Luc in Brussels. This resulted in a fluent structure integrated with the site.
Parking garages are often labeled as mere functional industrial buildings rather than being referred to as inspiring architecture. Yet the parking garage is often the first place of contact with, in this case, the hospital and should therefore serve as a warm welcome for the visitors. This parking project at Saint-Luc is made into a positive first encounter, by selecting natural materials, providing abundant daylight and emphasizing contextual connection.
The parking garage
In a rather loose assemblage of hospital buildings, residential buildings and parking area, we designed a parking garage, both clear and attractive, that is skillfully embedded in the topography, thereby structuring the site. On top of three underground parking decks, the two above ground decks of the building, bridge the terrain gradient between street level and the green roof, where a garden connects to the adjacent residences.
We challenged ourselves to also make the underground decks clear and pleasant. By introducing a sinuous ‘canyon’ encompassing the garage that allows light and air to reach even the lowest deck. Natural light and this (eventually green) canyon-wall contribute to orientation and ensure a positive experience for the user. The facades, made of meandering hardwood slats (FSC), naturally relate to the character of the canyon. An appealing building, nicely embedded and with added value for the user is the result.
The structure is calculated in view of a potential building on top of the parking garage.