Friday, October 07, 2016

I hate multi-storey car-parks

click photo to enlarge
I hate multi-storey car-parks. I always have done and I don't see that viewpoint changing in the future. I know that they offer parking close to shops and the centres of towns and cities, and perhaps if my mobility were to be impaired my view might change. However, I don't think those circumstances would make me love them.

I've long felt that multi-storeys have the character of a building designed to be a slum: everything is pared down to a functional minimum with bare concrete being the main surface on view and, internally at least, no attempt made to embellish the basic internal structural skeleton. The aim of this, as with slums, is to extract the maximum income from the minimum infrastructure. To that end the ramps are always narrower than anyone would wish, the curves always tighter, the scuffs and scratches on the bends marking where drivers have caught their bumpers on the unyielding concrete, and the parking spaces have barely enough room to get out of your car. They have a general ambience akin to a slaughter house, and that's perhaps the reason that a modern "thriller" cliché is the confrontation of the hero and the "baddies" in the dimly lit  floors of the multi-storey car-park.

Today's photograph shows a typically grim, grey prospect highlighted by the primary colours of warning dazzle and signs. Here, unusually in my limited experience of such places, the area reserved for cars is green and that for pedestrians is marked in red. Incidentally, I have seen a number of poor attempts to decorate the outside of a multi-storey car-park, including one that featured pointed arches in a pitiful attempt to "fit in" with the nearby Gothic cathedral. The only one I have seen and liked featured in this blog post.

photograph and text © Tony Boughen

Photo Title: Multi-Storey Car-Park, Gloucester
Camera: Olympus E-M10
Mode: Aperture Priority
Focal Length: 75mm (150mm - 35mm equiv.) cropped
F No: f5.5
Shutter Speed: 1/160 sec
Exposure Compensation: 0 EV
Image Stabilisation: On