On the surface, an announcement of 1,900 new parking spots — covered or not — reads little more than a functional upgrade. However, at Nike, serving basic need becomes an opportunity to deliver beyond the expected. Thus, the new NYC Garage fosters community and collaboration through the incorporation of engaging and unexpected spaces.
True to its name, the garage draws inspiration from the sporting heritage of NYC.
To wit, the structure features the following:
1. Six parking levels. Each one celebrates one of New York City’s professional sports franchises.
2. Basketball, futsal and handball courts. These fill the massive central courtyard.
3. Seventeen brilliant murals. International artists Stash, SP One, CHINO BYI, FAUST, Grotesk, Felipe Pantone, GOREY, DAIM, Tones One, Gary Stranger, Yoon Hyup, SPETO, Claw Money, Nardstar*, Paola Delfin, Hueman and Ashley Montague represent 10 countries and serve to highlight the global reach of one of New York’s great cultural exports: graffiti.
“Art is often a great way to bring soul into a building,” explains Todd Van Horne, VP and Creative Director, Nike Special Projects. “With these murals, we want to celebrate New York City’s sport culture —with street basketball and hip-hop culture as inspiration.”
The artists commissioned for the garage present a range of styles. There are some, like Stash, who play with pattern, while others, including Chino BYI, explore the creative potential of lettering. Of course, several also share unmistakable illustrative styles, and at the NYC Garage, these examples all serve to capture the spirit and energy of basketball. Many of the assembled artists have also contributed to Nike’s history — notably through product collaboration — and extend not only a reminder of NYC’s influence on the brand, but the brand’s regular interaction with the global street art community as well.
“It’s diversity at its best,” says Van Horne. “There’s no one artist who paints the same way. One of my favorites is Paola [Delfin] from Mexico City, [who] painted these amazing basketball players on the wall with a very distinctive style.”
Ed. Note: Another mural, by Mad C, will be painted in the coming weeks.