2012 Annual Design Review
Powers Brown Architecture
The Roy Kelly Multimodal Terminal, designed by Houston-based Powers Brown Architecture, has become an important connective force in Bryan, Texas, stitching together different parts of the area’s civic center. The facility’s program includes new county offices, a 900-car parking garage, a bus terminal, and ground-level retail, and the project addresses the many parking demands of nearby employees, courthouse visitors, and commuters catching buses at the terminal. Located in a district of mostly low-lying, two- or three-story buildings, Powers Brown worked to avoid imposing a hulking parking garage that would overpower the district. Taking cues from fire stairs suspended from the façades of buildings in Bryan, the architects animated the garage elevation with what they call the “hyper stair”—a series of stairs that protrudes from the metal scrim suspended from the precast concrete structure—bringing around-the-clock activity to the façade.
“It’s one of the more successful buildings that makes a connection from the perimeter of the building to the bigger context, like the argument about linking to the pedestrian circulation and the way the building layers out and takes the sidewalk as part of the building.” —Mark Yoes