A unique new civic commons leverages a highway reconstruction investment
{"autoplay":"true","autoplay_speed":"8000","speed":"1000","arrows":"true","dots":"false","loop":"true","nav_slide_column":5,"rtl":"false"}
{"autoplay":"true","autoplay_speed":"8000","speed":"1000","arrows":"true","dots":"false","loop":"true","nav_slide_column":5,"rtl":"false"}

DETAILS

LocationHouston, Texas United States
ClientDowntown Management District
Size5 miles

With the coming expansion and realignment of the highways around Downtown Houston, SWA identified the opportunity to enact a bold vision: a multi-use branded connectivity system that will leverage the immense reconstruction investment. SWA’s concept creates a continuous pedestrian loop over, under, and around the downtown highway system, thus redirecting the unpleasant experience and appearance of the freeway infrastructure into unique pedestrian-scale experiences while creating meaningful exchanges among neighborhoods and urban districts. The loop re-imagines the civic commons by artfully negotiating topography, land use, and natural resources. The renderings aim to demonstrate strategic investment zones that have the potential to initiate development of the Houston Green Loop. These visuals successfully served as a tool for communicating possibilities and investment value to the mayor’s stakeholder committee, which is comprised of prominent city officials, entrepreneurs, and philanthropists. As one example of a sustainable gesture along the Loop, at Frostown Crossing, the design proposal creates an outdoor amenity along a detention pond that is activated by the restoration of a historic bridge.

Related Projects

Bagby Street Improvement Plan

Inspired by the success of Avenida Houston, on the east side of the city’s Downtown, Mayor Sylvester Turner wished to create something equally iconic on the west side. Bagby Street connects civic uses (including City Hall and its annex), cultural uses (Hobby Center, Bayou Place, and others) and parks (including Sam Houston Park and Tranquility Park).

Th...

Portsmouth Square

Portsmouth Square is the heart of San Francisco’s Chinatown: the main civic park for all community festivals and events as well as an important day-to-day outdoor living room for the community. Centered in the densest community in the United States west of the Hudson River, the park plays a critical role in the health and well-being of the local residents, ove...

Houston’s Gateway Art Bridges : I-59/69 Beautification

As a city dominated by freeway infrastructure, Houston will be reconstructing portions of its iconic freeways in the near future. This created an opportunity for SWA to reclaim the Houston Interstate experience with a temporary art installation that provides a bold pop of color celebrating Houston’s diversity at eight key threshold bridges along the I-59/69 co...

Beijing Finance Street

Awarded after an international competition, the Beijing Finance Center Master Plan creates an international destination in West Beijing. The project, which includes a mix of uses—housing, retail, hotel office and cultural facilities—is focused in terms of the landscape design on a central park known as “The Heart” of western Beijing. SWA’s wo...

Beijing Finance Street

Awarded after an international competition, the Beijing Finance Center Master Plan creates an international destination in West Beijing. The project, which includes a mix of uses—housing, retail, hotel office and cultural facilities—is focused in terms of the landscape design on a central park known as “The Heart” of western Beijing. SWA’s wo...

Paveletskaya Plaza

Situated along Moscow’s Ring Road and adjacent to the legendary Paveletsky Station transportation hub, the park at Paveletskaya Plaza will both cover and reveal the new bustling underground retail facility below while also serving as a landmark destination for residents and visitors alike.

The extraordinary retail and architectural vision for Paveletska...

Ningbo East New Town Eco-Corridor

SWA provided planning and design services for the 3.3km long, 250-acre metropolitan Ningbo Eco-Corridor, which transforms a former agricultural plain that had been taken over by industrial use into urban green infrastructure. Located in the heart of the Yangtze River Delta on China’s coastline, Ningbo is one of China’s oldest cities, with an area of 3,616 squa...

Luohu Station

Luohu Land Port and Train Station is a border control area and the busiest place in Shenzhen, China. As such, the city was faced with the challenge of moving as many as 600,000 people per day and determined to build a subway. Under the auspices of the Shenzhen Municipal Planning Bureau, a team of consultants from eight different countries worked together on th...