Conversion of mobility facilities

Conversion of mobility facilities

Parking and mobility buildings are good examples of buildings that are currently used for a specific purpose but where the need for them is very likely to decrease over time. FOJABlab studied what would be required of a new mobility facility today to allow it to be converted to housing or offices in the future.

The concept of sustainability has rapidly expanded from being primarily about the environmental impact of buildings during construction and operation to encompass the entire life cycle of buildings and environments in terms of material, technical and social aspects. A growing population creates a need for urban densification while resources are limited. As part of long-term sustainable development, we need to start reusing both building materials and entire buildings.

During the aftermath of the oil crisis in the 1970s, engineers Jan Dyfverman and Jan-Erik Hollander received a research grant from the National Research Council for the Building Industry to investigate how to plan and convert parking garages to other functions, such as housing and offices.

The research report is called "R41:1975 Alternative useable parking facilities" and seems never to have had any translation into practice or even a wide readership. Perhaps they were ahead of their time? Today, the issue is again highly relevant as car pooling, shared ownership and better alternatives to the car lead to reduced car dependency. If we have self-driving cars in the future, the vehicle fleet will be further reduced and can also be parked outside the city center.

It's time to take a fresh look at Dyfverman and Hollander's old ideas about building facilities that can be converted to housing and offices once they have served their purpose as parking. The problems are familiar: how do we deal with daylight in a deep volume, low ceilings, floor slopes and useful loads? The Lab project was to study a fictitious project with no site-specific connection where ramps and the middle parking rows are dismantled to create a courtyard and allow for good daylighting conditions.

See also The mobility machine and Competence area parking/mobility

Project team

Anders Eriksson Modin
Architect SAR/MSA, Sustainability Manager

Niklas Sonestad
Architect MSA/MAA, Deputy Studio Manager