Parking Savvy Design: Las Olas Parking Garage
March 07, 2022 | Case Histories
AN EYE-CATCHING GATEWAY
The new 200 East Las Olas Parking Garage, located on Las Olas Boulevard in downtown Fort Lauderdale, serves as an eye-catching gateway to the beach. The multi-story structure is the first of sweeping changes in Fort Lauderdale as the tides turn it from a former Spring Break destination to an amenity rich, upscale retail and entertainment district. In fact, the fifth level of the upscale parking garage includes an observation deck with views of the Intracoastal Waterway, restrooms, landscaping, shade structures and utilities.
A GRAND, SWEEPING GESTURE
Arquitectonica of Miami envisioned the parking structure as a grand, sweeping gesture, like a wave frozen in time. The design is a modern riff on a wave pattern and incorporates signature elements of the barrier island onto the screen wall. “The garage wrap came from the juxtaposition of the organic smooth waves of the ocean and the urban environment found on the beach along the Intracoastal Waterway,” said EDSA’s Paul Kissinger in an interview with City View Fort Lauderdale.
Going from napkin sketch to completed project required a titanic effort. Collaboration, compromise and an attitude of ingenuity on the part of the design team, contractors and suppliers made the project prevail in meeting budget and deadlines and delivery of the architect’s original design intent.
“Compliance with Florida’s hurricane codes was a force in specifying the perfect product,” recalls Andy Franks, GKD Territory Manager. The team selected GKD’s Tigris weave, which has a 65% open area, maintained the sleek aesthetic of the original design intent and met the required codes.
Another layer of design complexity called for louvers to be directly attached to the façade over the mesh. “Knife plates supporting the louvers penetrate at then panel seam locations which prevented any additional loads from being placed against the metal fabric,” explains Franks. It’s a fairly common solution but required close interaction between the two product manufacturers.
“There was a tremendous amount of coordination between their product and ours,” says Franks. A full-scale mock-up ensured the viability of the assembly and that installation teams observed first-hand the exact specifications, attachment details, and tolerances. “It was critical that the installation happened flawlessly without delays or change orders.” And time was tight: from the start of construction in August to October, when Fort Lauderdale’s legendary boat show was scheduled to begin.
The compressed schedule meant the trades worked simultaneously. “Concrete pouring, rebar grinding, staining the finished concrete,” recalls Franks. Things can get tenuous on a crowded jobsite. However, GKD’s world-class service delivered, ensuring that each of 118 metal panels stood cleaned and polished to perfection.