Colin Drake, AIA,
University of Louisville HSC Parking Garage | Louisville, Kentucky
JRA Architects partnered with the University of Louisville to develop a master plan to address the comprehensive architectural needs of the campus including the traffic and parking concerns the University faced. The University’s Health Sciences Center, situated in the heart of Louisville’s medical district, receives heavy traffic from students, researchers, and patients. As that traffic continued to grow, it became apparent there was a critical need for managing the increased volume, so a new parking facility was recommended as part of our master plan.
JRA, in conjunction with Ratio, Inc. created a new nine-story, 629,000 square foot garage to house more than 1,700 cars - a sevenfold increase in capacity - to meet the location’s parking challenges. During our discovery process, prior to design, we identified critical measures for success which included safety, wayfinding, sustainability, and security. Consequently, we integrated features and materials into our design to address those criteria.
Four glass-backed elevators traverse the nine parking levels with special colors and graphics identifying each floor to assist in patron wayfinding. A state-of-the-art counting system is integrated on each floor, illustrating to the patrons the numbers of empty spaces remaining on each level. The design incorporates sustainable initiatives including construction recycling, a drip irrigation system, an ivy-covered green wall on the east façade, and energy-saving lighting systems. The garage is also constructed to allow more daylight into the space while the ceilings are painted white to maximize the lighting in the space for greater safety and security.
The façade design is complementary to the adjacent University of Louisville Bio-Medical Research Building, helping to create a sense of cohesion among the buildings. In any downtown area parking can be scarce, and JRA helped alleviate the problem for the University’s students, faculty and visitors alike.