Ground-level cubbies add a touch of class to this high-end locker room.

Without support, a bench can't succeed as a bench. Benches built into a wall can be cantilevered, rest on legs or utilize brackets - or, very commonly, incorporate cubbies as both a structural and space-efficient element. Seen mostly along gym walls and facing racquet courts and multipurpose rooms, cubbies in the Memorial Hermann Sports Medicine Institute in Houston are found under the locker room bench, a detail that comes with a number of distinct advantages in this potentially damp environment. Building cubbies allowed Houston-based WHR Architects Inc. to inexpensively extend the warm look of the stained wood lockers all the way to the floor, avoiding unsightly bolted-down legs or steel brackets and mitigating headaches associated with flooring maintenance in hard-to-reach places. The dividers of the cubbies provide the needed vertical support and give locker room patrons a place to stow loose belongings like shoes and gym bags.