At One Park in Cliffside Park, New Jersey, residents of the recently opened luxury residential complex enter the building surrounded by trees. It is a vastly different experience from the initial design, which called for a podium parking structure that would have replaced trees with a “big box” blocking the entrance.
The final design allowed the building developers to get more out of the project by freeing designated parking space for other uses.
What made this change in design possible was U-tron’s fully automated parking system. As building developers and architects look to find new ways to attract and retain tenants, improving the overall design and functionality of the building has become increasingly important.
Parking remains a must-have amenity in luxury residential buildings, and architects have looked for ways to improve the experience residents have with parking. They have also looked for ways to blend parking structures into the overall design of spaces.
Perched on a cliff, One Park was designed to draw from the natural beauty of The Palisades, which boasts panoramic views of the Manhattan skyline. The 14-story, glass high-rise overlooks the Hudson River, and balconies in many of the units offer a view that visually complements the vertical cliff-side landscape.
The goal behind architecture firm Architectura’s design was to offer a sophisticated and modern living space that emphasized cohesive design and simplicity. But the architecture firm had an obstacle standing in the way of its vision: Local building codes required over 300 parking spaces, and to meet this requirement, the firm had to design a conventional parking garage at the base of the residential tower, which made the front of the building resemble a warehouse.
Architectura collaborated with U-tron — a Unitronics company and a worldwide leader in automated parking with 30 years of experience in the automation industry — to find a parking solution that benefited the design by eliminating ramps, turning radiuses and higher ceiling heights designed for humans to move within the space, and significantly reduce the parking volume.
Assisting The Developer
For the developer, the automated parking system becomes an amenity of the building, increases the whole project value, reduces construction costs and saves on resources. The freed space allows the developer to reclaim parts of the building for other uses, from more residential units to retail space or additional amenities.
At One Park, U-tron was able to work with the design team to reduce the impact of parking by fitting the required spaces underneath the complex’s larger south tower, clearing the front of the building. This allowed for a more open design and an entrance that featured green space. Having the automated parking structure under the higher tower also allowed the developer to add more residential units to a shorter, connected tower in the complex.
Improving The Residents’ Experience
Automated parking complements One Park’s focus on improving the resident experience. Residents drive their cars into the loading bay and walk to the building lobby without having to walk through a parking structure. When it is time to pick up their cars, residents simply head to the lobby and enter their code, or call the car directly from a mobile app. With a covered drop-off area and a “vault” parking structure, vehicles remain safe from theft, vandalism and parking damage.
By placing the parking underneath the building, U-tron was also able to improve the flow of street traffic around the complex. Because automated parking uses loading bays, where drivers pull in their cars and leave, vehicles can quickly enter from the street into the loading area without backing up the flow of traffic. This ensures residents have an improved user experience throughout the process of parking their vehicles.
But for the residents of One Park, the idea is for this more efficient parking process to be invisible. Residents can enjoy the experience of walking through a park-like front entrance before entering the modern glass facade of their new home. They can take in the views of New York City, take a walk in the garden or go for a swim at the pool. When they are ready to explore the world outside of the building, One Park’s automated parking system will call their cars for them with the tap of a screen.
It is all a testament to how architects and developers can get more out of their building design and improve the lives of tenants by using automated parking.