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Flinders Street / Melbourne, Australia / PARKSAFE 580

Phoenix Apartments private car park. 26 parking spaces over 13 levels above ground.

Architect: Fender Katsalidis Architects, Melbourne,
Car parking system: WÖHR Parksafe 580

The Phoenix Apartments tower is one of Melbourne’s most iconic developments built on the site of the famous Phoenix Hotel once owned by Collingwood football legend Lou Richards. Architecturally interesting for being a “skinny building”, it rises 28 storeys above Flinders Street with apartments occupying full floors and uninterrupted views over the Yarra River and out to Port Phillip Bay.

Clearly car parking was always going to be a challenge due to the narrow site dimension of only 6.7 metres. It was anticipated that most apartment purchasers would expect an on-site secure car park but going underground was not possible and there was certainly not enough space for conventional car park ramps. The answer was for Car Parking Solutions to install Melbourne’s first fully automatic car parking system: The Parksafe 580 system produced by market leader WÖHR from Germany.

Installation of the system was challenging due to the location of the site crane in the space allocated to the automatic parking system. Installation could not commence until the site crane was removed leaving a tight deadline to the project’s completion. Despite this, installation was completed ahead of schedule in early 2014 and handed over to the builder on time, and on budget.

The WÖHR Parksafe 580 system is accessed via Malthouse Lane at the rear of the tower. Users are guided onto a user friendly parking pallet by laser scanners which check the dimensions of the car and ensure that it is correctly parked. Once the user has exited the transfer cabin all doors are locked for safety, the car is turned 90⁰ and lifted to the closest suitable parking bay. An empty pallet is then returned to the entrance cabin ready for the next car.

The Parksafe 580 system of Phoenix Apartments accommodates a total of 26 cars over 13 parking levels. The system allows different vehicle heights to be allocated to each parking level. In this case there are 2 levels for cars up to 2m (4 parking spaces) and 11 levels for cars up to 1.6m. To retrieve a car the user simply swipes an RFID fob and their car is returned to the entrance cabin facing outwards for easy exit into the rear lane. Retrieval times generally average around 2 minutes keeping in mind that the user’s car is then ready for immediate exit without any driving around in circles to reach ground level.

Project plans