A unique new civic commons leverages a highway reconstruction investment
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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.

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