The idea to build an automated parking garage in WeHo was born after a study by city hall revealed the previous parking lot to be under parked by updated codes by almost two-thirds in capacity. The lack of parking spaces forced city employees to use a nearby crowded parking deck. The site also lacked safe and efficient access points and offered no usable outdoor space. WeHo needed a solution that would allow for minimal disruption of traffic patterns while providing 200 spots within a tight footprint.
City staff, along with consultants, explored several parking solutions. A stand-alone, above-ground structure would consume the entire site and block the daylight from City Hall and surrounding homes. A below-ground structure would be cost-prohibitive. Because cars don’t drive inside the structure, automated garages can operate within a smaller footprint with lower ceiling heights and without ramps. This reduced the footprint required for the structure by 40%.
With a smaller footprint, more open area was retained around the garage, creating larger setbacks that allowed more natural light to enter City Hall. The extra space also relieved traffic congestion from the street and provided space for a community plaza. Architects had the flexibility to incorporate local artwork into the structure, and a glass wall allows pedestrians to watch as the robots move the cars into place.