House above the parking house By Adham Sannaa, Aly Elsayed & Maroua Ennouri

House above the parking house

​By Adham Sannaa, Aly Elsayed & Maroua Ennouri


A car free city centers is the aim for many cities around the globe and this through strategically stopping the traffic flow and dedicating the spaces for pedestrian use only. Heavily motorized cities such as Stuttgart are in constant need to provide spaces dedicated mainly for parking garages and underground garages that are being increasingly built in and around city centers consuming valuable and strategic locations in the heart of the cities in order to be able to achieve a car-free zones.

Hence, the premise of the project is built upon the future speculation on the evolution of mobility systems where less spaces are needed for parking or storage mainly due to the introduction of alternative modes of transportation.

The city of Stuttgart is un-doubtfully one of the most motorized cities in Germany. However, the sustainable development scheme of Stuttgart aims at reducing the vehicles usages by 20 percent by 2030.

This project aims at utilizing these structures in solving one of most eminent problems facing Stuttgart city; lack of living spaces and the lack of possibilities of extension within the city center, not to mention the high land value on which these structures are built. This represents an opportunity for other commercial and business uses, in addition to solving the housing issue in the center.

One of the aims of the project is to provide modular design based on the standards used in car park houses. The standardized Kerto structural elements are used to transform standard parking modules to accommodate different functions and usages; functions that require various sizes of spaces.

Given the structural strength of the park houses, The Kerto model provides a lightweight solution allowing for the transformation of these structures into multi-functional buildings that best serve the needs of city centers. Spaces that were once ignored and seen as gray zones would become a place of activity and interaction without the need to demolish the original structures.

The main case study of the project is Zublin park house, in the Rathaus area, located in the heart of the center of Stuttgart. The parking house is heavily surrounded by both commercial, cultural and residential usages. In addition, due to its central location, the area is very vibrant and attractive to both the residents and visitors of Stuttgart.

However, it is crucial to underline the decreasing use of this parking house day after day, which reflects as well the situation of other parking in the center of Stuttgart, highlighting the previously mentioned transportation and mobility strategy of the city.

Hence, the transformation of this parking house is seen as a sparkle to initiate a larger refurbishment and extension strategy for the parking houses in the center within the sustainable development vision of the city and the country in general.

Even though that the suggested main use is residential, the introduction of urban activities such as urban gardening, open theaters, mobility station …etc., is fundamental in order to strengthen and maintain the linkage between the project and its surrounding.

City Above the City architecture competition

Plan B : City Above the City architecture competition 

Metsä Wood challenged architects and students around the world to push the boundaries of modern wood building design in the urban environment. Entrants from 40 countries created their Plan B to urbanisation using wood (Kerto® LVL – laminated veneer lumber) as the main material. The task was to design a wooden extension to an existing urban building. The entries were designed to 69 cities worldwide.

Explore the designs