Buffalo Bayou Park

, Buffalo Bayou Partnership

Houston, TX


Buffalo Bayou Park includes the part of the bayou which meanders east along Memorial Drive between Shepherd and Sabine Street in downtown Houston. Page designed two buildings and two large pavilions in the 2.3-mile, 160-acre park, which was planned and designed by landscape architecture firm, SWA. The design of the park restores the natural landscape which was adversely affected by the channelization of the bayou six decades ago and focuses on “passive” recreation and destination points, such as hike and bike trails, a dog park, event venues, and food service spaces. The structures, from simple shade pavilions to larger amenity buildings, create landmarks and places of focus, while employing consistent architectural elements that visually connect the park from end to end between Lost Lake and Water Works.

The design begins with simple concrete piers that create rhythmic, well-proportioned bays, and a practical, durable structural and functional framework. Galvanized steel spanning members, cantilevered generously on all sides, form a gracious and shady canopy over the piers. Natural wood soffits and delicate louvered grills add warm color and soft light to contribute comfort and intimacy. Glass and wood infill panels contain conditioned space flexibly as required.

The largest structure, the Lost Lake building, occupies a high ridge above a re-established lake. It creates a long thin volume parallel to the lake in order to capture great vistas, nestle into mature trees, and lay amiably and naturally in its topography. At the Water Works building, the same architectural vocabulary is employed to frame an important plaza that acts as a gateway to the park.

Building Facts

  • 14,692 SF
  • 2.3-mile
  • 160-acre Park