Garages. We need them but they seem to be taking over our communities streetscapes. Drive through most new developments and its and endless row of garage doors with the front door buried somewhere 20 – 30 feet behind the garage door wall plane. Not very appealing.
When I first moved to the Comox valley I had a client drive me through the valleys one upscale housing development – the only development with ” architectural ” guidelines. When I drove through. the largest, most visible, closest to the street “design element” in the entire project were the garage doors. Seriously? It’s not as if the space on the lots was unavailable to do something more gracious.
In the example photo not only are the garage doors around the corner but the second garage door ( barely visible in the photo) is screened by the building mass of the first garage door.
Making garages a secondary element in a design is not easy. Garages and the access to the garage take up an unexpectedly large portion of a site.
One of my early mentors in architecture taught me to resolve the vehicle access to a site early on in conceptual design, keeping in mind all of the site features while trying to minimize the impact of the car storage and access. It’s a lesson I apply to every design.