Sesquicentennial Park

Sequicentennial  Park Competition  Houston Texas  1987

The project wants to be intimately associated with the Wortham Art Center.
The upper plaza with a distinctive obelisk in the form of symbolic light
source becomes the natural public entry to the Center . The design
for this area promotes and celebrates the experience of the
arrival to the existing building and the grounds of the new park.
The park consists of two distinctive levels , the upper Plaza and the lower
paths and outdoor terraces running parallel to the water canal the
proposed excavated pedestrian landmark , the icon of the project.
A ‘light’ monument, a paved Plaza and a series of open fields are being
added to the city with grounds dedicated to outdoor seasonable entertainment.
We are proposing a pedestrian bridge to facilitate a needed crossing of the site
by pedestrians and low speed vehicular local traffic.
Pavilions and landscaped structures furnish the park on either sides of the canal.

This is a competition project for which our atelier was given an award.
Our office was joined by Architect Lebbeus Woods that developed the
renderings required by the competition’s required rules.
The project takes its conceptual cue from the Wortham Center, the newly
built downtown cultural center. Treating the park as an open air extension
of the Center itself , the bayou area becomes an outdoor alternative performing
area of vast proportions. The unusual shape of the site is that one of an
abandoned urban edge physically compressed by the overwhelming growth
of the city network of highways.
Interpreting the dynamic nature of the site, the project channels the muddy
waters of the bayou and secures its higher levels from possible seasonal
flooding . Conceived as a sort of constructed urban morphology the park
provides new elevations or paths and views of an entire area previously
denied of any architectonic validity in what seems to have been a sort of
rapid uncontrolled urban growth.
Two pedestrian bridges link the bayou's banks. A north-end foot bridge
on the level of the covered promenade connects the east-bank outdoor theater with a

west-bank cafe court .In addition the architects added flanking foot paths to the existing
south-end vehicular bridge.

Houston Texas  USA
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