Oakleigh’s Atkinson Street carpark extension is proof that aesthetic, environmental impact and local impact are as important as the number of new parking spaces.
The $7.5 million project, which started in August last year, is a relief for the busy shopping precinct, providing 274 parking spaces in the centre of Oakleigh which had 100 per cent occupancy of car parks during peak times.
In a 2016 Monash Council community survey, residents expressed concerns about parking availability.
Two decks of parking (195 extra parking spots) have now been added to the Atkinson Street facility with an electronic car counting system at the entries showing available spaces.
Decorative timber facades with feature lighting ensure a softer, more organic building than the concrete boxes we associate with urban carparks and pathways and landscaping also help make it more attractive, while solar cells on the rooftop level will power internal lighting.
To deter graffiti and vandalism, local students helped street artist Michael Fikaris to create artwork for the concrete columns and internal walls.
The murals on the first two levels feature Australian, Indigenous and Mediterranean plant life, reflecting the markets, gardens and foods that Oakleigh is renowned for.
Sacred Heart Girls College and Oakleigh Grammar students worked with Fikaris to paint their designs on the carpark pillars.
To address concerns of nearby residents, a concrete and aluminium horizontal façade was added to the northern side of the carpark, set back from the boundary, to prevent noise, overlooking and car headlight glare.
A modified entry and exit to the carpark was also designed to discourage people driving down Palmerston Grove.
Images thanks to Monash Council.