Not Parking

The Beauty of Mixed-Use

While mixed-use parking structures started sometime in the 1950s… It has been a major trend in parking structure design over the past 20 years. The mixed-use garage is a great design for many reasons. In particular, it allows the pedestrians of a city to have a street view of the shops, retail, or even gym within the ground level of the garage. The Z-Deck in Detroit Michigan even created a whole walkway for entertainment, art display, and pure genius.


Rich & Associates acted as a consultant to the lead architect Neumann Smith on the Z-Deck. The parking structure is unlike any other in the world. Every level has wall length art murals painted by artists from all over the world. The colorful playfulness of the inside of the garage creates a modern interior facade that makes you forget that you are actually in a parking structure. The odd Z shape creates an alley in the middle of the structure that is filled with life. From bars and restaurants to public displays of art, the alley, known as “The Beltway” serves as a destination for locals and tourists alike.

On the lower level of the Z-Deck, lies within it an amazing restaurant and bar called Punch Bowl Social. A hip and modern eatery and bar equipped with a bowling alley, arcade games, ping pong and food that will keep you coming back. The rest of the Z-Deck ground level is filled even more shops and restaurants.

It’s very interesting to ponder what the block on Broadway and Grand River would look like if this structure was not mixed-use. The parking structure does more than just influence the block, it makes it. This block would not be thriving were it not for the mixed-use structure making it. We were thankful to be apart of such an amazing development in the heart of Detroit with Bedrock Real Estate and Neumann Smith Architecture.

When designing parking it is always important we remember that we design them for people, not just cars.


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