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EMBARK Began Operations of Garage in Early 2021

January 21, 2022


EMBARK's Convention Center Parking Garage was recently awarded an American Institute of Architects (AIA) High Design Award at the 2021 AIA Oklahoma Design Awards. The honor is the highest design recognition for AIA projects at the state level. TAP Architecture is the architect for  the project and submitted the garage for judging. 


"From its inception, the Central Oklahoma Transportation and Parking Authority (COTPA) Board, which oversees EMBARK’s family of services, desired to design and construct a facility that reflects the world-class community and venues it connects," said Jason Ferbrache, EMBARK Administrator. "From TAP Architecture, the OKC Office of Arts & Cultural Affairs, City Council, Maps 3 Citizen Advisory Committee and COTPA to artist Martin Donlin, project manager Anton Morton, and more, this award is truly a celebration of many entities and their efforts to distinctly and intentionally beautify and honor our downtown area through functionality, art, history, and placemaking." 


The artwork named What Is The City But The People was created by UK-based artist Martin Donlin and was managed by Anton Morton of Kasum Contemporary Fine Art. The project took 1,400 hours to construct by both Donlin and Morton, which received professional acknowledgment from the AIA 2021 Jury. AIA Jury members were selected from architect members of the AIA Cincinnati Chapter. 


"For such a utilitarian everyday structure which is typically so mundane," said AIA Jury members. "It is rare that one rises to the level of civic prominence like this one does. The typically banal garage typology rises to the level of ephemeral experience. The jury appreciated the dappled quality of light and the experience of the user from both interior and exterior. The detailing of the polycarbonate panels is refined and elegant, it enlivens the street." 


The AIA Oklahoma Design Awards are an annual state-wide competition. The garage won the high design award in the large commercial building category. 


The Convention Center Parking Garage is located at 15 SW 4th Street adjacent to the new MAPS 3 Oklahoma City Convention Center and Scissortail Park and the new Omni Hotel in downtown Oklahoma City. The garage boasts six levels, over 1,100 parking spaces, and monthly, daily, and hourly parking options. It is EMBARK's fifth parking garage in operation. 


EMBARK is the business unit of the Central Oklahoma Transportation & Parking Authority (COTPA) – a public trust administered by the City of Oklahoma City.  

EMBARK's vision is to be world-class transportation that is accessible to all, and all want to access it. EMBARK's mission is to be a self-sustaining transportation network that removes barriers of location and socioeconomic status, while elevating the status and use of public transportation so all of central Oklahoma can safely and quickly reach their destination. 

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