Archinect
Michael Friebele

Michael Friebele

Dallas, TX, US

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Houston Center

The site in the 1970s was automobile-centric, a product of an ambitious but failed master plan to convert the eastern edge of Downtown Houston into an intermodal hub. The 33 blocks that remained were laid barren with parking lots. A majority of the context built since designed a solid face toward the street. Meanwhile, the site sits at a point where the pedestrian network from the underground tunnel meets the pedestrian sky bridge system. Additionally, where paths converge from Discovery Green, Main Street, and the outlying districts north and south, our proposal harnesses this convergence as a new typology for a Downtown Houston public enclave.

In three phases, the project weaves the pedestrian flow of the city through a new strata of street grid and reactivation of the office volumes. An urban porosity replaces the solid face of the towers with a multi-level mix of public program and landscaped green. The existing four lane street is converted into a two-lane limited use, pedestrian pathway. Above, an organic flow of pathways weave the district together, mimicking the true circulation connection. A large canopy above unites the public space, simultaneously rendering the district environmental comfortable as well as giving the area a clear identity. 

 
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Status: Unbuilt
Location: Houston, TX, US
My Role: Designer
Additional Credits: Perkins+Will