In spirit with Wynwood’s artistic vibes, The Wynwood Garage was turned into an artistic canvas with a striking visual façade made of perforated aluminum designed by Oakland-based studio, FAULDERS STUDIO. The eight-story parking garage and mixed-use building, designed by Coral Gables architecture firm, Wolfberg Alvarez & Partners, features retail spaces on its ground level, offices at the top floor level, and public parking within its intermediate levels.
Understanding that a rigid, monolithic building would be inconsistent within the trendy vibes of Wynwood, the permanent architectural skin follows a free-form pattern that offers a non-narrative effect as it hovers between recognizable shapes and unfamiliar forms, resists definitive meaning, and pushes viewers into an active role of visual interpreter.
“With its high concentration of street art on every building, the Wynwood Arts District is an exceptional neighborhood unlike anywhere in the world. Our facade design learns from this local vibrancy, with a pattern that is strikingly diverse, unexpected, and invites curiosity. To present a ‘range of all possibilities,’ we’ve created an optical language that mixes geometric patterning with amorphous figuration,” said FAULDERS STUDIO Founder, Thom Faulders.
Foregoing the typical design method that would produce a drawing of a building, FAULDERS STUDIO alternatively situates the drawing directly on The Wynwood Garage. The elaborate drawing was intelligently designed as a two-sided canvas allowing it to be experienced differently from inside and outside as the skin continuously wraps its four primary elevations.
Ranging in size from three feet to more than six stories in height, irregular polygonal shapes are bordered by slotted perforations and elevated fins. This network of fissured ‘sight-lines’ perpetuates a visual meandering throughout the street-oriented elevations and back to the city. From afar, porous surfaces appear to be smooth planes of gray, and boundary lines look solid and continuous. But, upon close proximity, these geometries shape-shift into a more subtle yet actual texture of spatial data: hand-size dots and dashes that penetrate the surface to provide daylight inside.
Erasing legible differentiation between solid spandrel and parking level openings, the concrete building is painted shadow-dark gray – a necessary move to hide the spandrels from exterior views behind perforations. A spatial reversal takes place inside: perforations once perceived as solid geometries transform into open inlets of light and air, and the white background optically recedes as a darkened field. Framed by floor plates and column bays, a linear display of cropped shapes and figures is framed, making the skin unique to each parking space and inviting visitors to peer through pixelated views of the city.
Amidst an increased presence of urban renewal, the façade aims to merge optical and spatial layering to actively resonate with Wynwood’s painted city-space. The Wynwood Garage is yet another example of how built environments can reshape our streetscapes and provide us with a space that creates memorable experiences and enriches our lives.
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