Hiding the garage behind a false front

As cities sprawl outwards, cars have become an essential part of suburban life, resulting in the humble garage been pushed front and centre of modern house designs, standing out like a sore thumb. But this doesn’t have to be, as these oddball examples of garage design show.

The garage hidden under San Francisco house did the rounds back in 2011:

This video shows the garage door in operation.

With Curbed San Francisco giving the backstory.

Can You Spot the Hidden Parking Garage on This San Francisco House?
Sally Kuchar
April 20, 2011

The problem, you see, is that the city planning department had recently started enforcing its mandate to limit changes to the character of historic building’s front facades– especially when it came to converting bay windows into garage doors.

Corey McMills, who’s got a background in mechanical engineering, thought of an idea to covert the walls of the bay window into door panels that would fold into the garage space to allow cars to enter. The planning department accepted it. McMills Construction teamed up with Beausoleil Architects to help with the details.

This house reminded me of a similar looking garage conversion in the Melbourne suburb of Ascot Vale.

As well as this example from Auckland.

Innovative Garage for Historical Home in Auckland
Louise O’Bryan
24 January 2018

The front aspect of this stunning heritage home looks completely untouched, aside from a fresh lick of paint. But on closer inspection, there’s something ultra-modern lying beneath the period bull-nose verandah. At the touch of a button the hinged weatherboard door opens to reveal a drive-in garage, complete with a car stacker.

“We wanted to retain the strong aesthetic and heritage of Ponsonby homes, while also combating the issue of parking,” says Jonathan Smith, founder of Matter architects and owner of the property. “Garaging provision in the traditional sense was impossible on this cramped site.”

To achieve the faux facade, Smith explains how portions of the villa were carved out, while masonry retaining-wall structures were constructed inside to facilitate the car stacker installation. “We cut through the joinery and lined up the boards so that from the front, the facade is seamless,” says Smith.

But this house really takes the cake – the entire front facades hinges upwards.

Exposing a shed large enough to park a light aircraft! The owner writes:

Our home sits on a grass runway on the shore of Lake Harney in Florida. The lawn in front of the home is actually the taxiway. Our home was included on HGTV Extreme Homes episode 201. Our goal was to take what could have been an ugly facade and make it more “neighbor friendly” and appealing.

The other side of the home enters directly into the living areas. On the left side you can just see three small aircraft, two gyroplanes and a powered parachute. Although the door size is larger than needed for these aircraft, when we sell the home it is likely that a person with a full size aircraft would need the door size to accommodate his aircraft.

The full video is here.

And the reverse?

How about using a garage to hide an illegal addition to your house?

It worked for a while, until the local council paid a visit.

Couple fined for using fake garage door to hide house in Leicester
Press Association
13 February 2018

A couple have been fined after using a fake garage door and high fence to hide a residential property from a council.

Planning permission was granted for a development in 2007, with conditions stating that car-parking facilities, including the garage, should remain available permanently.

The garage will be restored to its former use after follow-up visits by the council resulted in the discovery of a series of planning breaches.

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4 Responses to “Hiding the garage behind a false front”

  1. Andrew says:

    Rather amazing to see. I remember seeing the Leicester cover up before. They were caught. How many get away with it.

  2. Aaron says:

    For some reason, this has never crossed my mind. This hilariously fantastic! Kinda has a spy feel to it, too.

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