Stadium Garage Provides More Than Parking at the University of Houston
he University of Houston (UH) held a grand opening in mid-September for its newest parking garage. Although the celebration, complete with special offers, games and giveaways, might seem unusual for a parking structure, the Stadium Parking Garage is far more than just a place to park.
Designed by WHR Architects, the 2,300-space parking facility contains a Noble Fan Shop, Cougar Express Mini Market, Taco Cabana restaurant, and offices for UH Parking and Transportation and UH Parking Customer Services. With 85% of the university’s nearly 40,000 students commuting from around the sprawling city and its suburbs, re-imagining the garage as an amenity project made sense for several reasons.
“The parking garage is strategically located at the heart of the new Stadium Precinct …,” said Marie Hoke, AIA, a Director of the firm’s Studio for Education and the Arts and project architect on the new building. “Its high-visibility location called for an architectural solution that would serve as a new gateway to the campus, and at the same time, reinforce a sense of campus identity.”
With frontage along a new pedestrian walkway that connects Robertson Stadium to various buildings in the district, the garage offered the design team an opportunity to create a lively ground level with shops and food service amenities for students and the many loyal alumni who return regularly for games and campus events.
“The Stadium Parking Garage really demonstrates that every building contributes to the sense of place on an academic campus,” said David H. Watkins, FAIA, Chairman and Founding Principal of WHR Architects. “Whether residence hall, classroom building or garage, the architecture of the building is part of the fabric of the campus and communicates the values of the institution to the students and to the community.”
(Source: WHR Architects)
Article Abstract from December, 2012