Houston Endowment selects firm for new HQ

6 December 2019
Credit: Kevin Daly Architects
  • Kevin Daly Architects
  • Kevin Daly Architects

Kevin Daly Architects



Houston, TX

United States

Kevin Daly Architects maximises outside space in winning design

The winning design has been selected for a competition to create a new US$20m headquarters for Houston Endowment, a private philanthropic foundation. Led by Los Angeles-based Kevin Daly Architects (KDA) with Mexico City-based PRODUCTORA and TLS Landscape Architecture, the winning team’s composition reflected the aim of the contest to create strong partnerships between architects and landscape architects. Given Houston’s humid subtropical climate, the contest organisers sought a design that maximised the potential of the parkland site to create a comfortable environment. 

The selected team envisages an airy, elegant superstructure shaded by a grove of oak trees, blurring the distinction between inside and outside. Malcolm Reading, Competition Director, stated: “This design is reminiscent of Houston’s architectural exemplars: the ice houses, the Menil Collection and parts of Rice University campus – where a building mediates between the outside landscape and the interior experience. The team seized the opportunity to create a building that allows users to engage with the park for much of the year.”

According to the designers, the new 40,000 sq ft building is intended to be ‘as welcoming as the shadow beneath a tree’.  The roof canopy lattice was designed to offer a sense of shelter to both the organisation and the local community. Flexible interior spaces link to Spotts Park through a series of exterior terraces, shaded by awnings.  

Kevin Daly, Principal, Kevin Daly Architects, said: “The living canopy of Houston was a huge influence on the team: the tradition of buildings that balance the being ‘a part of’ and ‘apart from’ the living landscape of the city was inspiring. We wanted to establish continuity between the park setting and the vocabulary of the building.”

The headquarters is a fast-track project, due to open in 2022. Beyond this, the winning team may continue to work with the Endowment on improvements to Spotts Park. 

Lucy Nordberg
TenderStream Head of Research

This tender was first published by TenderStream on 20.05.2019 here

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