Temple Street Garage

New Haven, like so many American cities, undertook a series of disastrous experiments in urban planning in the mid 20th century. The Temple Street Garage, a two block long parking deck designed by Paul Rudolph, is one of the more contradictory artifacts of this era. A landmark structure that expresses the ambitions of  Modernism, the garage is also a symbol of the hubris of the design professions.

 

This intervention preserves much of the structure while reimaging the ground floor and top surface of the deck as microcosms of the city. In solidarity with the critiques of Modernist planning, the scheme attempts to restore scale, rhythm, and programmatic variety while retaining a sense of optimism about the ability to the urban environment to improve, not simply be repaired. The scheme accounts for flexibility across time scales: seasonal variation, temporary events, long-term spatial reconfigurations and phased construction.

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