The Florida Association of the American Institute of Architects (AIA Florida) recently named the 2022 recipients of its highest design awards, recognizing architects throughout Florida and the Caribbean. Architect Jonathan Parks of the Sarasota architecture firm Solstice Planning and Architecture earned a design award for the City of Sarasota’s St. Armands Parking Garage, recognized for Excellence in Sustainability. It rose to the top of more than 250 submissions from which a Barcelona-based jury of architectural experts judged work from Florida, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
No stranger to notable projects, in the past Parks has also been awarded for his work on residential homes.
Owned by the City of Sarasota, the four-storied, 482-space parking garage at 57 North Adams Drive is a step toward a goal to achieve 100 percent use of renewable energy in city buildings by 2030.
With an influx of new residents and new development on Lido Key, parking has been a challenge on St. Armands Circle. In response, the City of Sarasota developed a master plan that included the new $12 million parking structure. The goal was to make the St. Armands Parking Garage the first "parksmart" project in the state of Florida, a certification offered by the U.S. Green Building Council. The precast concrete superstructure was completed in just over two months.
A twisted stainless-steel mesh material encompasses more than 9,000 linear feet, and the panels are held together by 250,000 individual welds completed by hand. Limiting light pollution, dimmer lights sense movement and handrail lighting illuminate the path. Solar panels and sensor-sensitive lighting minimize electricity consumption. Almost 100 percent of the construction materials were regionally sourced, 76 percent of the labor was local and 87.5 percent of the waste produced was diverted from landfills through recycling or reuse. The parking garage also offers EV charging.
The awards ceremony was on July 30 at the annual 2022 AIA Florida Convention at The Breakers in Palm Beach in Florida.