A portmanteau of car and architecture (for ‘car-centered architecture’), appearing in “A Miami Beach Event Space. Parking Space, Too.” by Michael Barbaro, on the front page of the NYT yesterday:

Parking garages, the grim afterthought of American design, call to mind many words. (Rats. Beer cans. Unidentifiable smells.) Breathtaking is not usually among them.

Yet here in Miami Beach, whose aesthetic is equal parts bulging biceps and fluorescent pink, bridal couples, bar mitzvah boys and charity-event hosts are flocking to what seems like the unimaginable marriage of high-end architecture and car storage: a $65 million parking garage in the center of the city.

They are clamoring to use it for wine tastings, dinner parties and even yoga classes. Or taking self-guided tours, snapping photographs and, at times, just gawking.

Created by a colorful Miami developer and a world-renowned architecture firm, it appears to be an entirely new form: a piece of carchitecture that resembles a gigantic loft apartment, with exaggerated ceiling heights, wide-open 360-degree views and no exterior walls.

… It is, in many ways, an ode to Miami’s flashy automobile culture. Rather than seeking to hide cars, as garages have done for decades, it openly celebrates them.

The accompanying photo:

When Rolls-Royces aren’t in the way, the garage offers stunning views for dinners and weddings.

Fair number of hits for carchitecture, including the 2001 book Carchitecture: When the Car and the City Collide (edited by Jonathan Bell) and this 2004 journal entry:

Spectacular carchitecture


We are living in the carchitecture age, an era in which most buildings are designed to be seen and appreciated from moving vehicles.

Plus the entertaining:

Carchitecture! A Car-Shaped House and Resturant (link)

(with a somewhat different interpretation of the portmanteau) illustrated here:

One Response to “carchitecture”

  1. Dingburg portmanteau « Arnold Zwicky's Blog Says:

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