At the new Restoration Hardware (RH) gallery in Dallas, Tex., visitors can shop for luxury home furnishings, sip wine, or enjoy a meal. Because a rooftop restaurant and a wine bar were added to the shopping destination, ample parking was needed for customers. The new three-story parking structure adjacent to the flagship store relieves congestion in the area. Furthermore, because the project team went to great lengths to mimic the design of the retail store, the parking structure is a welcome addition to the streetscape.
RH secured the parcel behind its store for a driveway and valet parking garage. The compound was tightly fit into the urban neighborhood. With the site constrained by an alley on one side and Cole Street on the other, the use of a prefabricated, precast concrete system was the best option. Installation of the precast concrete components in an efficient manner lessened the impact of construction on the store and the community while accommodating the unique footprint and site parameters.
With just inches separating the garage installation from the adjacent building, project logistics were of the utmost importance, recalls Michael Trosset, sales manager, GATE Precast Company. “There was no room for storage or staging, so we relied on just-in-time deliveries to bring the 234 precast concrete components to the site, and to minimize the impact on traffic and the busy retail avenue,” he says.
The parking garage is laid out symmetrically on the site plan with the gallery opposite. Everything is mirrored on a central axis, with windows and openings that align the two buildings. While the precast concrete parking structure’s layout is small and not as efficient as the design of a typical parking structure, it showcases the design team’s innovative approach to the site challenges. The result is a unique structure that just happens to store vehicles.
Team members applied a multi-toned, three-dimensional plaster effect to the precast concrete components at the site. The structure has anthracite-gray Venetian plasterwork and large windows with metal accents that are the same as those featured on the gallery facade. To create the impression from the street that the parking structure and gallery are an integrated complex, the design team also used exterior lighting and repeated architectural details such as integral cornices. The cohesive architecture includes an entry courtyard, crystal and iron chandeliers, cedar shade trellises, and geometric topiaries.
The installation of decorative fixtures such as the chandeliers on the side of the garage required careful coordination with the precast concrete producer to design anchors and embeds. It was important that those elements were aligned with the gallery, so the slopes were adjusted to ensure that elevations tracked between both structures. The underside of the double tees were painted white to enhance the brightness of the parking structure’s interior. There is also an integrated, large-format water feature on the side of the parking structure that flanks the drive court between the gallery and the parking structure.
Overall, this unique compound reflects the character of Knox Street and enhances the charm of the neighborhood. The new RH gallery store and parking structure are a unique study of balance and symmetry and are a destination in their own right.