Penn State Health Westview Garage

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PSU Health Gararge5

An awe-inspiring design solution that welcomes visitors and enhances their arrival experience.

As the campus College of Medicine and Medical Center undertook many expansion projects, demand for additional parking increased. The solution is this striking precast concrete-skinned four-story parking structure.

Positioned along a new campus loop and visible from the main road, the design team enhanced visitors’ arrival experience. Inspired by the rolling hills of the Pennsylvania landscape and the neighboring iconic precast concrete campus buildings, the soft wavy precast façade spandrels of this new garage entice and draw visitors in as they drive onto the campus. The design team explored various facade options, choosing precast concrete for its flexibility, economic cost, and materiality link to the existing campus.

Being set within the context of an architecturally significant campus, it had to complement and enhance the materiality already established.

Amy Luchun, Principal at LJC

Finding inspiration in the landscape, the designers took advantage of the fluidity and versatility of precast concrete to create a three-dimensional (3-D) design that mimics the rolling hills and flowing rivers of Pennsylvania’s topography. The total–precast concrete design features a series of 3-D wave spandrels that flow across the sides of the parking structure in four levels. On each level, the panels merge together at central points, then cascade away to create a natural flow in both the design and the way light and air moves throughout the building.

Soft-Curve Exterior
Significant cost savings were achieved by reducing the number of unique molds from 72 to 8, and by increasing the bay size using larger double tees.

Once parked, the user experience inside is as uplifting and safe as the exterior. Glass stair towers stand tall and visible between the exterior spandrels providing ample daylight and visual security for guests entering and exiting the garage. Continuing with the nature-inspired design, the design team pulled in subtle wood elements from the canopy entrance and color-matched wood ceilings to support a fluid and visually connected user experience.

Innovation

The design is rooted in an efficient and cost-effective parking deck layout. After developing several options, a progressive and forward thinking aesthetic evolved for the exterior skin. Formally expressive horizontal precast elements and elegant glass stair towers relate to the orignal medical campus buildings and more recent additions.

Connected Experience

Wanting to assure the user’s experience was uplifting, the beauty of the design continued inside. With the glass wall stairwell, light shines through the space as it reflects off the waved liner wall. Pulling in subtle elements like the wood soffits built into the precast concrete canopy entrance and color-matched wooden ceilings in the interior of the stair towers pair well with the nature in the surroundings and allow fluid and visually connected experience.

Connecting with Nature

The landscape team’s “green fingers” design strategy centers around outer trail networks that meander in and around buildings to connect directly to the heart of the campus. The team incorporated campus safety principles and accessibility standards, improving pedestrian circulation, creating a more comfortable and secure campus experience between destinations.

Following its completion in 2020, the parking structure was appropriated as a drive-through COVID-19 testing site. The larger bays and well-lit, secure structure were a perfect solution to serve the community quickly and efficiently.

CLIENT

Penn State Health

LOCATION

Hershey, PA

SIZE

400,000 SF
17 Acres
1,236 Car Spaces

SERVICES

  • Architecture
  • Landscape Architecture

AWARDS

2021 – PCI – Best All-Precast Concrete Parking Structure

INTEGRATED BY DESIGN