Garage Shows Creative Energy at Work
A parking garage, in Austin, TX, elevates a potentially mundane building type into a structure whose formal expression is both “functional and aspirational,” the Danze Blood Architects website says.
Designed to serve the needs of the local office of the T3 creative marketing and advertising agency, the 100-space facility seems to take on the creative energy of its users, the firm adds, “finding opportunities within the simplest of forms to inspire and uplift [the] otherwise commonplace daily activity” of parking.
The T3 parking structure is nestled into a hillside at the intersection of a boulevard fronting an urban park and a busy residential street. While the site – and its neighbors – called for minimal impact along this high-profile thoroughfare, it also presented the opportunity to create an “unapologetic, yet compelling, architectural expression,” the firm’s website says.
Because of the building site’s steep slope, the architects opted to bury portions of the eastern facade and northeastern corner into the hillside, the Architizer website says. “The garage seems to emerge from the hill.”
The concrete framework anchors overlapping steel screens, which appear to float along the exterior, the architects say. Climbing vines, trained onto the screens, are designed to provide “living green walls,” allowing the building to seemingly recede further into the hillside.
A planted rooftop garden serves as a water detention pond above the parking decks. All water collected from the roof enters a cistern – highly visible at the structure’s southeast corner – and is used to irrigate the rooftop garden and surrounding landscaping.
The “helical” concrete structure is organized around a central architectural element, the Danze Blood firm’s website says. That elliptical void cuts through all four floors in the middle of the garage, allowing natural light to flood into the space from above. Traffic circulation moves along a helix-shaped ramp that wraps this central void.
Some 1,600 cubic yards of concrete were used in the structure, including drilled piers, columns, basement walls, slab-on-grade, grade beams, and elevated post-tensioned slab and beams. Rago Construction was the general contractor. The project took about 10 months to complete.
Cotera+Reed Architects was Architect of Record. The Danze Blood firm was the Design Architect. The T3 parking structure won a 2013 AIA Austin Design Award and a 2013 Texas Society of Architects Design Award, the firm’s website says.
Article Abstract from December, 2013