Due to its centralized location and easy access to highly desirable destinations, Tampa International Airport is expected to serve nearly 30 million passengers annually by 2025. The airport’s existing parking infrastructure was not capable of supporting that level of demand, and airport administration sought to proactively address the issue.
Gresham Smith is the architect-of-record for two beautiful new, six-level economy parking garages at TPA. The first phase of this project included a $72 million, 5,590-space garage that featured an external express ramp system designed to provide vehicle circulation for a future garage. Subsequently, Gresham Smith designed the phase-two garage which doubles the parking capacity of the facility to more than 11,000 spaces. In addition to the garages, the project included new entry and exit toll plazas with canopies, a new parking administration building, an extensive signage package, a cell phone waiting lot and a new revenue control system. The garage is also a “Smart-Garage” featuring a customer-friendly computerized space availability system.
The firm created an extensive signage package for the economy parking garages including dynamic messaging for the parking guidance system and modifications to the roadway signage on Bean Parkway. A stand-out feature of the project is the 36-square-foot super-graphic of the airport’s logo featured prominently on the side of the east garage. Both garages also have their own elevator core with wayfinding information. A cumulative effect of unique color, graphics, art, and floor patterns provides passengers with a strong sense of place to help remember where they parked.
The new garages were designed with passenger comfort in mind, providing close proximity to the elevator cores from any parking space and featuring shuttle stops in an enclosed, air-conditioned lobby. The large, spacious garages and dynamic signage make it easy to maneuver and find spaces quickly, helping to alleviate some of the inherent stress many travelers experience upon arriving at an airport.