Convention Center Parking Garage and Austin Energy District Cooling Plant
City of Austin
With this project, the City of Austin wanted to alleviate concerns from downtown neighbors that a new parking structure and cooling plant would detract from area aesthetics and decrease property values of future developments. Occupying an entire city block, this mixed-use development provides an enhanced pedestrian link to adjacent blocks. The project embraces Austin’s Great Streets Guidelines with trees, landscape and planters, wide shaded sidewalks, and pedestrian level retail. The consistent use of brick and stainless steel materials gives the to structures a sense of continuity, while each element exhibits a design unique to its function. The cooling plant’s technical demand (18,750 tons of chiller capacity and 52,000 ton/hours of thermal storage capacity) was a major factor in design. The plant produces ice during off-peak hours, thereby distributing capacity more uniformly and minimizing spikes in peak demand. It also eliminates the need for individual chilling and cooling towers on other city blocks, freeing up space for continued urban development. The building elegantly combines utility and safety with aesthetic integrity.
AIA Austin – Merit Award for Excellence in Design, 2006
The Public Art Network of Americans for the Arts – Public Artwork Honor, 2006
Associated General Contractors of America, Austin Chapter – Architect of the Year Award
Austin Business Journal Best Real Estate Awards – Architectural Design Award, 2007
Metal Construction Association – Decorative Metals Design Award, 2006