Zipcar 'Pez' Storage: Build a Better Burb Award

Build a Better Burb, the online publication dedicated to improving suburban design, selected the Zipcar Dispenser parking structure, designed by Moskow Linn Architects of Boston, MA, for its innovative and highly efficient design, as Editor’s Design Choice, as featured on our EYES IN Magazine Facebook page. Described by Keith Moskow and his firm as “a giant PEZ dispenser [that] doles out cars in lieu of candy,” the Zipcar Dispenser aims to improve the functionality, efficiency, and aesthetic appeal of parking.

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Cars often spend more time parked than driving, which means large plots of land are needed to store them. And, although car-share programs are helping to reduce the total number of parked cars in specific geographic areas, these programs rely on parking space, themselves, to store their vehicles when not in use. Recognizing this as a challenge for many car-share programs, Moskow approached Zipcar with a proposal to create an innovative structure that could store cars effectively while also featuring company branding within the structure itself.

The resulting Zipcar Dispenser design features a steel structure measuring just 10 feet wide, 36 feet deep, and just over 50 feet high, which is intended to hold seven cars at a time. The design allows for seven vehicles to be stacked in the same footprint as just two parking spaces. The structure’s compact size and vertical shape allow it to fit easily into underutilized commercial spaces, like an area between two buildings, putting to use spaces that might otherwise be left empty.

When a Zipcar member swipes his or her card through a card reader attached to the parking structure, a movable stacker crane lowers the car down to street level. The automated design is easy, quick, and delightfully self-serve, resembling a vending machine for cars. A polycarbonate transparent scrim encloses the parking structure; advertisements could be installed on this scrim, much like an architectural billboard.

Although the Zipcar Dispenser design is intended for use in urban areas, where a lack of adequate parking space can be a significant issue, the design could easily be extended to fit suburban areas as well, particularly downtown and train station areas.

Additional information about the Zipcar Dispenser structure, and the thought and planning behind the project, is included in a new Build a Better Burb article titled “Zipcar Dispenser” available at

Build a Better Burb is sponsored by The Long Island Index, a project of the Rauch Foundation. It uses engaging visuals to help suburban residents and leaders explore design solutions from across the country that can be applied to any community. By showcasing innovative ideas and outstanding projects, the site seeks to inspire conversation about the importance of design within suburban communities.

Build a Better Burb features new articles on a frequent basis. The Editor’s Design Choice is awarded on a monthly basis to highlight particularly exceptional designs that can serve as an example for suburban communities – and often others as well.

About Build a Better Burb

Build a Better Burb ( is an online publication, sponsored by the Long Island Index, a project of the Rauch Foundation, offering guidance for improving the quality of life and framework of American suburbs. Its articles highlight bold innovative ideas for improving housing, regional planning, parking and transit, and a sense of place within suburban downtowns and neighborhoods. Follow Build A Better Burb on Facebook and Twitter.

About the Rauch Foundation

The Rauch Foundation ( is a Long Island-based family foundation that invests in ideas and organizations that spark and sustain early success in children and systemic change in our communities. The Foundation was established in 1961 by Louis Rauch and Philip Rauch, Jr. Funding for the Foundation was made possible by the success of the Ideal Corporation, an auto parts manufacturer founded in 1913 by their father, Philip Rauch, Sr.

Source: Build a Better Burb

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