We had the terrific opportunity to work with one of the finest architectural firms in Sarasota as well as one of the nation’s leading builders of commercial architecture. This parking structure is something of a 21st century marvel. The shoot was faced with some logistical challenges because of our subject’s sheer size and its proximity to other buildings. My approach to photographing this subject was a deliberate one; I decided to treat the structure as a sculptural, artistic form and create images which isolate its design elements. Balancing this strategy with one of function, I felt it necessary to convey both scale and context by backing off and shooting the building framed within its environment.
This 240,000 square foot project was designed for the City of Sarasota by the award-winning architect, Jonathan Parks and built by Suffolk Construction. The challenge for the Palm Avenue Parking Garage and Retail Shops was to design a signature mixed-use building that would become a portrait of the Sarasota community. The resulting design solution needed to welcome civic input and capture the spirit of the local artistic culture.
To achieve this, the façade has been designed in a curvaceous, free-form sculptural style that reflects the area’s artistic and modern environment. Located one block from Sarasota Bay, the organic contours of the exterior surface resemble the wind-filled sails of a ship. This design gesture perfectly reflects Sarasota’s past and present connection with the waters of the Bay. The “sails” are designed to let natural light and ventilation into all six parking levels while screening the vehicles from public view. This is important in creating a welcoming and safe environment while providing a structure that “does not look like a parking garage.”
The project is designed to reach LEED-CS (Core & Shell) v3 Gold Level Certification. Green components include an underground retention vault and cistern to store and treat storm water runoff from the site. A portion of the water is reused for the irrigation system. Energy consumption will be reduced with LED lighting and an energy management system that will only provide artificial light when and where it is needed. A solar carport is located on the roof and plug-ins for electric vehicles are provided.
The result is an iconic, user-friendly, environmentally responsible design that satisfies the functional, strategic, and aesthetic needs of the city, while contributing to the overall success of downtown Sarasota.