Craig & Karl’s colourful car park

Design and illustration duo Craig & Karl have applied their bold and colourful approach to the interior of an underground car park in Sydney…

The latest commission for design and illustration duo Craig Redman and Karl Maier of Craig & Karl was to apply a bold graphic approach not to an editorial piece or gallery project, but to an underground car park in Sydney…

“The objective of the project was to breathe new life into the space (the underground car park of an award-winning residence in Sydney’s Darling Point by architect Marsh Cashman Koolloos) which, having been rendered in concrete with little inlet of natural light, felt quite dark and heavy,” explains Maier. “Working closely with the owners, who possess a keen design sensibility, it was decided that the mural would cover all surfaces in a blanket of bright colour. There was also a request that the larger wall surfaces be left blank with an eye towards potentially introducing additional, individually commissioned works at a future date.”

“The resulting design is a dynamic mix of overlapping geometric forms that mirror and respond to the angularity of the architecture,” Maier continues. “The whole piece is tied together by a winding, ribbon-style device which, acting as a central axis, leads in from the driveway, through the space and out to the garden beyond.”

See more work by Craig & Karl at



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  • Blinding colour combo!

    Great for a supermarket/shopping mall in Manchester.

    Not sure if it says ‘award-winning residence’ though.
    But that could be just the cultural differences between London and Sydney.

  • Steve

    well look´s really fresh! ..but after 1 month of cars going in n´out (black dirty tires) this colorful light place should look a mess don´t you think? :/

  • Thomas

    looks absolutely amazing, but I imagine trying to reverse out of a space must be very similar to the peak of a migraine.

    Actually, perhaps one of the future art pieces they commission could be a trompe-l’oeil exit ramp.

  • VW

    Goddammit! I left my triangular shaped car at home!

    Nice colours.

  • JP

    Lord! It’s making me feel queasy just looking at it!

    It may be more difficult to park and manoeuvre a vehicle in such a visually jumpy, and eye-ball aching environment.

    Yeah pretty colours, but hardly fulfills a brief for making car parks better places. A failure to understand parking needs, in favour of doing something trendy.

  • It looks great, but how the hell could that function as a car park? It’d look better as the entrance to a first school.

  • guyfrommtl

    The down side is this looks like camouflage paint of the likes that was used in WWII on boats… Look at the pics again and notice if you sometimes have a harder time identifying walls and obstacles than if the space were left blank… My bet is someone is going to ram their car through this lovely concept.

  • Beautifully but not user friendly.

    I can see that Instantly the triangular car jokes roll out as all observers expect the basic guidelines from a car-park. Its a success as it is an interest point and elegant visually, bringing attention to the vivid colors and bold shapes that break up the actual shape of the car park.

    Then again Is that a good thing?
    I have to wonder at the ability of a driver not to hit the wall, with all effort made to disguise the actual shape and dimension of the car park.

    Shouldn’t design complement function.

  • Are they planning on putting white lines down? I imagine this will detract somewhat from the design, or are they going to triangular parking spaces?

  • WOW looks fantastic, but as has been said what about tyre marks especially with power steering and also would anyone know where and how to park? recreate in rectangular coloured shapes? and also hope that every car has parking distance sensors and dippable headlights would be sensationally bright at night back from the office with the sunshades on? but great out with the grey!!! Cool!!!

  • Dan

    The colours and designs do brighten the space and give it interest. As for all the concerns surrounding hitting walls, the people who can afford to live there would certainly have parking censors built into thier vehicles.

  • David

    The effort and creative idea is worth noting, however it is not responding to the real needs of that particular space. Design must be at least a bit utilitarian and interactive… otherwise it becomes only a piece of art.
    Decorating a car park is one thing but if the makeup is deteriorating the safety, practicality, and goes against the idea of smart improvement, then you are off the subject of turning it into a better place. Also, as some readers commented, “how is this makeup is about to age?” once all the tire tracks and bumper scratches will start to appear… My feeling is that (based on the pictures…) the use of so many geometric shapes and colors is creating confusion for the drivers and will induce wrong maneuvers, confusion in the perception of the signage and directions… Although there is nothing wrong of decorating a car park, designers should not forget their main goal: Improvement!

  • Happy colours, bravo. For those in the northern hemisphere, with January blues, stare at that last image for a while you will feel happier. No scientific evidence for that of course, but it worked for me.

  • Congratulations on some stunning work!

  • This story brightened up my day. I’m sure it will cheer a lot of people up. The need for colour in our lives is great, so to go bold and be daring like this in an otherwise dull environment is commendable. I once lived in Sydney Australia and found the whole place colourful, vibrant and up-beat. We can learn something from this exciting example I think.

  • Suky

    This is AMAZING!!! I absolutely love it!

  • Perhaps the large color shapes should be confined to the ceiling, walls, and posts. Then the parking spaces could be marked in colored lines. I wouldn’t know how I was supposed to place my car. I use those lines to park straight. And I have a feeling that the cars that live there are expensive ones. Owners would not appreciate dings in them. Form still needs to follow function.

  • Super work! with a great use of colour and shape. I wish they’d apply something similar over here.
    Will one actually park a dirty car on this?

  • Saifee

    Looks really nice. But I would probably bump into one of the pillars thinking it is part of the wall design. :)

  • I am loving this, what is there not to like? Why can’t all car parks be painted in this way. I live in Croydon which is full of 1960 car parks that are just lumps of concrete over 6 floors. However I do agree with the comments that it would be very difficult to drive and park in this type of vibrantly coloured environment. It is a known fact that when traditional markings on a road (the usual white lines) are invisible or not there, the driver gets confused and needs to slow down. My brain would not be able to work out how to navigate through this type of design.

  • love this, would live in it, never mind park in it. As for being ruined by cars, not necessarily there are a number of underground carparks in manchester with shiny cream floors with remain good looking years on – not sure how, but where there a will.

  • Color Help

    It is a beautiful piece of art and I love the colors. It’s amazing the way it lights up that dreary underground space, like you flipped a switch on the sun. But I have to agree with the other commenters, I don’t see how this could function without parking stripes. Perhaps they intend to add these later. Otherwise, I think it would be extremely confusing and lead to some unintended parking anarchy.

  • Bip

    Be great for the first filmmakers to do a car chase through it :)


  • This is an architectural photographer’s dream job!

  • I’m lucky enough to have seen this project in progress. I was unlucky to break my shoulder skateboarding down the in ramp. True indeed! It’s a residential house that holds only two vehicles and a ping pong table most of the time. So no white lines required.The colour reflected out to the street above is simply stunning. It’s stunning to see in the flesh. Very brave and creative home owners. Nuff said.

  • This is very colourful and very creative. Just hope that noone will mess it up with graffitti.