- The project re-envisions an office complex, by turning a central parking lot into a green space. The project redevelops a degraded sites.
- The design protects floodplain function and was not affected during the recent storms in Houston.
- 21 trees planted
- 44 trees saved
- 100% native and adaptive planting.
- The soil profile was considered during plant selection.
- The project minimizes pesticide and fertilizer use.
- Plants are allowed to go to seed/flower life.
- The project avoids annual planting.
- Low water usage planting were used on site.
- 9,000 sq ft of permeable surface was added.
- The site design mitigates runoff.
- Trees have the potential for intercepting 32,500 gallons of water which is the equivalent to the water usage for 3,250 American residents for one day. *
- The design reduces outdoor water usage with drip irrigation and native plant selection.
Carbon, Energy + Air
- The project uses planting to minimize building energy use. Trees were saved along the edge of the buildings, providing shade and lowering temperatures by the entry ways.
- The project uses sustainable materials, including FSC-certified wood products and pavers.
- A water feature is introduced to reduce temperatures.
- The trees sequester 7,800 pounds of carbon annually.
- During construction, pollutants were controlled and retained.
- Exposure to environmental tobacco smoke was minimized through designated smoke-free zones.
- The landscape renovation creates new amenity space and greater connectivity to the adjacent mall, which creates increased value for those leasing office space.
- The project supports alternative modes of transportation.
- The project provides optimum site accessibility, safety, and wayfinding.
- The project provides benefits beyond its own footprint, connecting to the greater shopping network close by and offering an event lawn for the neighborhood.
* The tree average for water interception is 500 gallons. American’s use an average of 100 gallons of water per day (EPA’s water trivia facts)
**120 pounds of CO2 per tree annually (This number is based on an average from the National Tree Benefits Calculator) One car produces an average of 8,320 pounds of CO2 per year. Each vehicle drives an average of 11,318 miles per year. (The Code of Federal Regulations - 40 CFR 600.113)
Built and developed by Hines in the 1960’s and 1970’s the two existing office buildings are slated for redevelopment to bring in fresh retail and office space. In an effort to improve tenant and visitor experience OJB was hired to transform an old single use surface parking lot into a new park space. The intent is to re-imagine the traditional workplace open space by helping to blur the line between work and play, along with socializing and conferencing. The design takes an innovate approach to creating people-spaces, while maintaining functional, vehicular circulation. By pushing the cars and parking to the periphery of the site, the focus is shifted to the user by creating a new contiguous, pedestrian focused space.
Through these substantive moves the site’s mature live oak trees will be utilized to help shape these new people-spaces. In addition to the large trees, shade structures, seating decks and an open lawn will create diverse, flexible programmatic opportunities for current and future tenants, helping to shape the public’s idea of what functional outdoor spaces can be in Houston. The new outdoor park will also include water features, a performance pavilion, gaming area with ping-pong and bocce, flexible seating and a strong botanical experience.
Location: Houston, TX
Team: Kirksey Architecture