The Point Tower – Looking at Podium Garage Wraps

Characteristics and Advantages

In great part, the point tower typology came about to help provide higher density development for more walkable, urban living. A point tower lifts all residential units away from the hustle-and-bustle of the street while creating opportunities for desirable views for the residents, and more opportunities for active retail and commerce below.

Marquette's Catalyst Houston

Panoramic Views

Point Towers create significant opportunities on top of podium garages for much greater green-roof and terrace areas, which makes for panoramic views. In turn, the rooftop podium placement of amenities provides for larger recreation areas and activities for health and wellness.

Mixed-Use Communities

Podium wraps create opportunities for inclusion of townhouses, retail, live-work units, and artist lofts, thereby creating an activated street scene. Additionally, wrap units can provide the opportunity for developers to offer components of affordable housing units.

Reducing the Street Wall Effect

A wrap employing the five-to seven-story scale of the Paris Garden District conceals the garage podium to reinforce a healthy urban fabric and reduces the street-wall effect. Without such thoughtful design, the street-wall effect detracts from a sense of safety and well-being.

Concealed Garages

In most jurisdictions, concealing the garage can add a density bonus Floor Area Ratio (FAR). Consider a FAR bonus for providing garage wraps to help enrich the city’s urban fabric rather than employing an architectural skin to conceal garage podiums. These podium garage wrap point towers sit nicely on a typical city block and achieve a density of 300 to 350 units per acre.

About the Author

Scott Ziegler, AIA

As Founding Principal of the firm and leader of the Urban Architecture Studio, Scott’s design experience reflects his belief that inspirational architecture enriches people’s lives, uplifts the human spirit, and provides a constant vision of excellence. As Residential Senior Practice Area Leader, Scott plays an active role in shaping the urban landscape through the firm’s built works and his published writing in professional journals on the subjects of sustainable urban growth strategies and high-density mixed-use developments.

Scott Ziegler, AIA

Senior Principal

Senior Principal

Scott Ziegler