Italian architects Angelo Salamone and Rossella Di Bari have designed an innovative hidden carpark as part of an architectural competition. The competition’s brief involved the construction of a road bridge, a multi-storey carpark and a green area designed for Moena, a popular tourist destination in the north of Italy.
The architects were tasked with creating a bridge and parking facility with approximately 240 parking spaces, taking up a total area of around 15,000 cubic metres, while having a minimal impact on the mountains that form the natural landscape in the region.
The road bridge is necessary to connect the two neighborhoods of Moena that are located on each sides of the river, and the winning entry linked those two areas while finding space for a large carpark.
Salamone and Di Bari sought to avoid any excavation or other work that would have a strong negative impact on the surrounding natural land unless it was absolutely necessary. The architects aimed to keep the green space "free" from buildings, aiming to promote open-air activities and creating a pedestrian and cycling lane.
Their plan calls for a green-roofed bridge with a parking lot inside and above it.
The initial bridge, mandated in the competition brief, was widened to about 36 metres, roughly half of which comprises a roadway, and the other half home to a roof garden that offers views of the touristic village and the mountains to the north.
Salamone and Di Bari's proposal calls for a new public park which can be reached by people coming from the carpark, and offers general access for pedestrian and bikes through a system of ramps that includes the park facilities.
It also calls for a bike sharing station that can be used by tourists and local residents, who can leave their car in the carpark and continue their visit by bike. In the main pedestrian entrance to the parking area there is a resting spot and an information point. There is also a bar facing towards mountains and valley, offering amazing views of the surrounding landscape.
While the new bridge blends harmoniously with the surroundings, the interior space was designed to maximise the number of parking spaces available. The main load-bearing structure was designed around the perimeter on the north and south sides of the building. This allows for the absence of pillars between the cars, making the parking lot safer and more comfortable for drivers.
The construction of the bridge requires steel beams arranged 2.5 metres apart, which support a series of prefabricated elements each measuring 16 metres long by 2.5 metres wide.
Inside the building, half of the area on each level has sloping floors, which serve as a vertical connection between levels. An elevator and an open staircase connect the three levels with the open areas on the green roof.
While the carpark is hidden under the bridge, the green area on the bank of the river becomes a park that includes both pedestrian and cycle tracks. The soil extracted from the bridge's construction site can be used to model ramps which conform to the natural slope of the land. This creates a small natural amphitheater to be used as an open-air cinema, a place for community events and cultural activities, a theatre, and in winter as the site for an ice skating rink in winter, Christmas markets and children's playgrounds.