Miami, Florida is known for its unique architecture, and its parking structures are no exception. So the designers of the five-story Lincoln East parking structure, which sits in the center of one of the city's most vibrant artistic and retail districts, made sure aesthetics were a top priority.
The owner did not want a high-maintenance enclosure, which ruled out the metal skins that were popular at the time of construction. Instead they chose a precast concrete solution with a fresh and interesting design.
The precast concrete panels are based on a family of mother panels that are subtly altered to create a number of unique daughter panels. Each panel features dozens of 8 in. (200 mm) cube-shaped holes with beveled edges. Periodically, the holes are omitted to give the panels a random IBM punchcard feel.
The multiple openings in the panel required extensive mold work to create blockouts that are larger at the face and taper to a small square at the back. These uniquely shaped holes not only increased the suction pressure when removing the precast concrete panels from the mold but also posed difficulties in assuring a smooth and clean finish at all of the openings.
The developer decided that precast concrete was the perfect material for this project in part because the most important surfaces are the jambs, not the face. This is where the crisp shadows are created during the day and where the interior lights can reflect to create the building's glow at night.