City of Houston

Hiram Clarke MS Center & Library

City of Houston
Houston, TX
$10.5 M
44,000 SF


Project Scope

An attractive building the community can be proud of.

AUTOARCH completed the Planning, Programming, Architecture, Engineering, and Interior Design Services for Hiram Clarke, a  44,000 SF facility that houses both a Multi Service Center and a full branch of the Houston Public Library. The Multi Service Center is complete with a large multi-purpose room, numerous meeting rooms, offices, practice rooms, computer rooms, two commercial-grade kitchens, a senior center and a Head Start Center with a pre-school and clinic. The 22,000 SF Library includes a custom designed Noah’s Ark inspired Children’s Area, a full library, an administration suite with offices and supporting spaces, as well as an innovative 5,000 SF e-Library designed with state-of-the-art technology.

Design optimization

Combining two buildings under one roof, AUTOARCH was able to save the client money and reduce the overall built footprint, decreasing our impact on the site.

At the outset of this project the client was planning to build two separate facilities, a Multi Service Center and a Library. However, upon evaluating the client’s needs, AUTOARCH proposed to build a single facility, housing both programs under one roof. Using this design plan, the Service Center and Library share common spaces, the overall footprint was reduced, and the client saved $1.5 million on the overall project cost. The delivering method was Concealed bid proposal.

Since the users of the building would come and go at different times, we were able to convince the City to build one facility to serve both functions. We were able to save square footage by introducing shared computer class rooms and teaching rooms to be utilized by both users on a different time schedules. A shared parking lot was also utilized. Though it has fewer spaces than would two separate parking lots (as originally conceived by the City), the single lot accommodates the same number of visitors with the different time schedule.

Having these two functions under one roof causes more people to visit the library when they have community events and allows public meetings to be held at the Multi Function room. This project also introduced an e-Library which has separate spaces for kids, teens and adults. This project is designed for LEED and incorporates many sustainable practices and elements.