University of St. Thomas Residence Hall & Parking Garage

Collegiate & Higher Education, Parking Garages, Student Housing

Location

Houston, Texas

Size

50,000 sf

Project Features
  • 850-car, six-level parking garage
  • Student lounge
  • Campus bookstore
  • Increased student occupancy to 300
  • Computer lab
  • Classrooms
  •  Kitchen
  • 10 study lounges

In an effort to recruit more students to live on campus, the school selected Kirksey to design a new residence hall to replace the 30-year old Guinan Hall and a new parking garage to solve their long-standing parking problem. Designed in a style that reflects the scale of the surrounding urban neighborhood, the new facility increases student occupancy from 200 to 300 beds. In addition, the building contains support facilities including a computer lab, classroom space, a 4,000-sf lounge, a catering kitchen, and 10 study lounges throughout.

Kirksey's design team determined that rotating the plan 45 degrees would provide a much larger buffer between the living spaces and adjoining streetscape and create a private interior courtyard for socializing and recreation. Each unit's private balcony overlooks the courtyard, furthering connecting this "student community". The new 350,000-sf parking garage accommodates 850 cars on six levels, one of which is underground to minimize the impact on the campus and surrounding neighborhood. Additionally, the garage contains a campus bookstore, student lounge, security offices, and a new central plant to serve the existing buildings.

Steve Durham, AIA, LEED AP 713 426 7521
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Spearheading collegiate projects, Steve’s experience spans everything from dining halls and academic buildings to athletic facilities and religious institutions. Early in his 17-year career at Kirksey, Steve initiated the Outreach Committee which offers opportunities for staff members to volunteer their time for various local communities and non-profit organizations. He also leads the firm’s membership in The 1%, a program connecting non-profits to architecture firms willing to provide pro bono services.