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To combat the old stereotype of parking garages as dark, dreary caves, the interior of this structure has been painted white and off-white, and each level coded not only with a different, bright color, but a unique cartoon animal. The result is clear and punchy: You’re not just on the 12th floor, you’re on the green-octopus level.
Visibility is good—potential obstructions such as elevators and staircases have been moved to the perimeter of the building, making it possible to look across into the opposite drive lane through tensioned wires that run along the center of the layout: good for when you’re hunting for a spot, and good when it’s time to find the elevator.
You might think of parking structures as simple concrete boxes, but they actually consume a surprising amount of energy; keeping all those lights on around the clock adds up quickly. The Kapiolani parking structure is LEED certified, thanks in part to photovoltaic panels on the roof that power 48 percent of the building’s electrical requirements. Additionally, many of the building’s lights are motion-activated or on automatic timers to further conserve electricity.