Architecture of Discovery Green

Houston, TX

Project Description

The Architecture of Discovery Green elegantly complements the 12-acre urban park, a lush greenspace that attracts droves of visitors to a downtown district once dominated by asphalt parking lots. Set in the heart of Houston’s central business district, Discovery Green spreads luxuriantly across four city blocks in front of the George R. Brown Convention Center to the east. Discovery Green encompasses several significant architectural components, most notably a restaurant, a café, and a park administration headquarters. In addition, a parking garage hidden beneath the expanse of parkland accommodates 600 vehicles.

Recognized for its sustainable design with LEED Gold certification, the architecture embodies the ideals of urban placemaking that led to the creation of this highly popular inner-city oasis. The three principal buildings parallel the rows of 100-year-old trees, known as the Oak Allee, and reinforce their linear character. Each building comprises long, thin volumes and draws activity via ancillary trails that extend out into the park from both sides of the central north/south promenade. Their geometry is simple – glass boxes enclosing and intersecting with masonry boxes, allowing park visitors to quickly understand each facility’s function and easily reach their destination. The landscape-oriented buildings blend seamlessly with the outdoor environment and respect natural forces and phenomena. As a result, the buildings provide as much outdoor space as indoor space.

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Awards

Representative Awards
WAN Effectiveness Award - 2011
ULI-Houston Development of Distinction Award - 2008
USGBC-Houston Outstanding Environmental Project - 2008
Green GOOD DESIGN Award - 2010
Houston AIA Public Service Exhibition - 2010
AIA Austin Design Award - 2009
Brick in Architecture Gold Award - 2009
Business Week/Architectural Record Award of Excellence - 2009
Society of American Registered Architects Design Award – 2009

The Grove
AIA Houston, Design Award for Architecture
IIDA Texas/Oklahoma Chapter. Design Excellence for Hospitality.
Society of American Registered Architects Design Award of Excellence
Gulf Coast Chapter, ASID. Best of Hospitality
Gulf Coast Chapter, ASID. Best in Show - Commercial

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