The Park is a six-story hybrid structure, which merges a 441-space parking garage with 27,000-square-feet of street-level retail. Located in the booming Warehouse District of downtown New Orleans, The Park captures the aesthetic rigor of the existing 19th century warehouses, while rethinking this overly conventional building typology and its construction methods. At 205,000-square-feet, The Park blends in and adapts to an evolving hub of urban activity, while tastefully preserving the style of the surrounding historic neighborhood.
Whereas traditional parking garages assume a monolithic aesthetic, The Park integrates large, pre-manufactured modules that play with pattern and material, to visually lighten the building’s facade. Composed of various widths of solid concrete and open-air gaps, the design results in a playful arrangement that defies the typical heavy grid of most garages, while still meeting the 50% open-air façade requirements for naturally ventilated parking structures.
Using a precast construction method rather than a cast-in-place approach, meant that the garage could be built with less street disturbance, greater cost efficiency, and within a much shorter timeframe. The design employs three pre-cast, integrally-colored modules—parapet panels, structural beams, and exterior panels—with five variations for each. The pre-cast panels on the two primary street facades vary in size from 34-feet-10-inches-in-length to 41-feet-in-length, and are smooth with strategically placed reveals for an added layer of detail.
At street level on Girod Street, steel awnings provide retailers and pedestrians relief from sun and rain. At the main entrance, visitors experience a change in material from the industrial concrete of the arcade and marquee, to the softer, natural hardwood (ipe) screen which aligns with the entry. This marks an symbolic shift from the “vehicular” to the “pedestrian” as patrons transition from the garage to the street.
Eskew+Dumez+Ripple project team
Steve Dumez, FAIA
Jose Alvarez, AIA, LEED AP
Charles Hite, AIA, CSI
Spackman Mossop & Michaels LLC (landscape architect)
Woodward Engineering Group (civil and structural engineering)
Pontchartrain Mechanical (mechanical engineering)
Frischhertz Electrical (electrical engineering)
Woodward Design Build (general contractor)