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Driving Today

European Parking Association Honors Best Parking Structure in Europe

Top award goes to underground Stockmann Q-Park in Helsinki.

You can bet the folks at the Helsinki Stockmann Q-Park in Finland are proud that their brainchild was named Best New Car Park by the European Parking Association (EPA.) The award was presented at the biannual EPA congress held in Turin, Italy. The parking lot won the award for its “particular innovative and sustainable parking solution” and its “unusual architectural structure.” Q-Park also won a special jury award for its Q-Park Lyon Perrache Archives La Confluence, which was honored for its sustainable and environmental features.

Stockmann is the oldest and most prestigious department store in Helsinki, and Stockmann Q-Park, built 130 feet under the department store, is part of Helsinki’s underground master plan. It is easily accessible via a 1/2-mile-long tunnel from both sides of the city and offers 600 parking spaces on three levels. Amazingly, no streets were closed for the construction, which cost $73 million and was completed in a record 39 months.

Q-Park Lyon-Perrache Archives La Confluence is an amazing parking facility designed to improve the living environment of the Perrache district and to serve Perrache station and the Municipal Archives. The parking facility provides 649 parking spaces on eight underground levels with completely column-free parking. Each level is highlighted by a different color in order to help customers find their parking spaces. The distinguishing features of the parking structure are its two “vegetal walls,” each 72 feet high, designed by the famous botanist Patrick Blanc. The walls’ 26 different kinds of plants were chosen for their adaptability to a low-light environment, and the walls are equipped with a special watering system.