Strategically Placed Fig Leaves Will Shield Bashful Rice U. Parking Garage from Medical Scrutiny

Proposed Office Building and Parking Garage at Rice University, 6100 Main St., Houston, 77005

Don’t stare: next week, Rice University will begin construction of a new 6-story parking garage, which will be hidden from roving eyes in the Med Center across the street by giant plastic scrims covered in images of fig leaves.  The 496-space garage will go up on part of the existing Lovett parking lot (just off Main Street, northwest of the intersection with Cambridge, at campus Entrance 3) and will come with an attached office building tastefully tucked alongside (in pale blue below):


Proposed Office Building and Parking Garage at Rice University, 6100 Main St., Houston, 77005

The office structure will follow the garage’s lead and attempt to blend in with its surroundings: the terracotta roofing tiles common around the campus will be echoed in the new structure by vertical terracotta fins running along the windows of floors 2 through 6. The building could hold as many as 295 work spaces, depending on final layout plans.

The project sits catty-corner to the ever-festive Memorial Hermann Medical Plaza tower, which currently houses some Rice administrative offices. The new garage and office structures were designed by Kieran Timberlake, the Philadelphia firm behind the dressed-to-impress physics hall that moved in across the campus in 2011.

Rendering and map: Rice University

A Modest Proposal

5 Comment

  • What an ugly design!

  • First they came for the colleges (Cell Block D and the McMurtry Unit), but I was not an undergraduate so I said nothing; then they came for the academic buildings (Brockman Hall and the Moody Arts Center), but I was not on faculty so, again, I stayed silent; then they came for the administrative office buildings and parking garages (this eyesore) and there was no one left to speak for me.

  • Ugly though it may be, a garage is seriously needed in this area of the campus. Much better use of space than the current surface lot.

  • The parking garage is needed but it really doesn’t have to be so ugly. A plastic fig leaves facade sounds like something a 2nd year architecture student would come up with after smoking too much weed. Rice is really losing its way when it comes to selecting architects and what they allow them to do.

  • I think this is a creative solution to the typical ugly parking structures we see all over this country! Go Rice!