SCAD Builds Housing In Parking Garage

by Katie Sloan

Atlanta — Students moved into 135-square-foot spaces, with distinct design themes, April 15.

Artist and SCAD alum
Marcus Kenny
and SCAD President
and co-founder
Paula Wallace in the
North America pad.
— The Savannah College of Art and Design has debuted an urban housing project called SCADpads, in which teams of students and alumni across multiple disciplines have developed and built housing modules for students that fit inside a standard parking space. Three 135-square-foot “pads” plus common areas welcomed students attending Atlanta and Savannah, Ga., campuses to try living on the fourth floor of SCAD’s Atlanta campus parking deck.

The project was inspired by the idea of sourcing creative solutions to urban housing problems. “Parking structures are a unique and very recent building type,” says Christian Sottile, dean of the School of Building Arts at SCAD. “It’s not a structure that cities, architects and designers have examined as opportunities for urban living.” There are 105 million parking space in the United States, or five spaces for every car, and the approximately 40,000 parking structures in the United States operate at half capacity, according to data SCAD gathered from the Urban Land Institute and the U.S. Census.

“Parking structures are cold, uninhabitable spaces built for cars, not humans,” Sottile says. “At SCAD, we see many of these 20th century structures as a huge adaptive reuse and historic preservation opportunity to bring art and design together to delight the user and sustainably evolve these buildings already in place.”

The pads have three distinct design themes. SCADpad Asia reflects the culture and aesthetic of SCAD’s Hong Kong location, SCADpad Europe was inspired by medieval landscape and history, and SCADpad North America has Native American themes. Each pad is fully functional and livable, with community amenities such as work stations, a community garden and a waste-collection and recycling system.


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