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kath

Distinguished Architecture - Houston Region

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I've read that the Urban Land Institute's local chapter has formed an awards program in hope to honor "projects of merit" in the Houston region. http://www.uli-houston.org/newsevents/newsevents_070914.htm

I've only lived in Houston for 4 years, and I still do not feel like I know all of the "architectural gems" that probably most of you know about. If you had to pick your favorite 5 "must sees" in and around Houston that you would honor with your "award of distinction", what would they be?

My current picks (remember, I'm the naive newcomer):

Minute Maid Park (this ballpark is absolutely one of the best I've been to)

Williams Tower (I like how Philip Johnson also continues into the Galleria w/ streetscapes)

SugarLand Town Square development (from a walkable standpoint)

Enron Building (even with all of the negative PR-- I really like it)

Wortham Center (even though it appears to lack detail, it speaks of it's time)

other maybe's (I need to visit these):

The Menil

Hobby Center for Performing Arts

BMC Campus, Westchase

Woodlands Town Center

The Rice Hotel/Lofts

... any impressive "green building" developments?

Edited by kath

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Visit Pennzoil. Don't just look at the spectacular exterior-go inside and see how the interior is integrated with the exterior. It's brilliant.

Check out the Menil: Look up and see the light baffles Piano designed then look down at the art illuminated by them.

Visit the MFA's Mies addition on Bissonett. It's a great piece of architecture misplaced-IMO. Inside are two great galleries-his original Cullinan Hall and his added Brown Pavillion.

Skip the Hobby unless you'r going for a show. The ceiling is lovely and the acoustics are great.

BMC is great. I worked on that project originaly and I can tell you the opal-glass elevators were spectacular and the boardroom was decadent in the best sense of the word. Unfortunatly the closest you'll get is a spread in AW.

The Woodlands is what it is: a glorified suburb you can find anywhere. If you are closer to Sugarland, it may be just as good a place to travel to if you want to see a replica.

The Rice is an old favorite of mine. I saw JFK and Jackie there on Nov. 21, 1963 and had my high school prom there in 1971 in the Grand Ballroom (Now a parking garage). Unless you know someone there, you'll be restricted to the lobby unless you can talk yourself into the Crystal Ballroom. It's one of the best rooms in Houston and my experience has been if you tell that to the powers that be, you'll have no problem getting up there to see it.

Green in Houston? What a comedian youe are! :P

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Good link. There are 70 LEED buildings listed in Houston, which is pretty good. Esepcailly when compared with an aggressively LEED-oriented city like Chicago, that only has 118.

Heck, San Francisco only has 65 listed. Berkeley, California has six. Guess Houston's not as brown as everyone assumes.

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I'm not laughing.

Of course you're not. Why state the obvious...again?

Heck, San Francisco only has 65 listed.

Not too shabby for the 14th largest US municipality to have only 5 less than the 4th.

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Of course you're not. Why state the obvious...again?

Not too shabby for the 14th largest US municipality to have only 5 less than the 4th.

In numbers, I agree with you. The point I was trying to make is that SFO talks and talks and talks about environmental this and environmental that and how bad the rest of the country is, but when the hard numbers are crunched, the results lag the talk.

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In numbers, I agree with you. The point I was trying to make is that SFO talks and talks and talks about environmental this and environmental that and how bad the rest of the country is, but when the hard numbers are crunched, the results lag the talk.

Yes, green is good (I've added a few). So the updated list of Houston's architectural "gems":

Minute Maid Park (this ballpark is absolutely one of the best I've been to)

Williams Tower (I like how Philip Johnson also continues into the Galleria w/ streetscapes)

Sugar Land Town Square development (from a walkable standpoint)

Enron Building (even with all of the negative PR-- I really like it)

Wortham Center (even though it appears to lack detail, it speaks of it's time)

The Menil

Hobby Center for Performing Arts

BMC Campus, Westchase

Woodlands Town Center

The Rice Hotel/Lofts

MFA's Mies addition

Pennzoil

NASA Building 27 - Astronaut Quarantine Facility (LEED - Silver?)

Satterfield & Pontikes-11000 Equity Dr (possibly Houston's first LEED - Gold office building)

Anyone else care to add/comment?

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All good ones.

I'd like to add Bank of America Center. It's Houston's signature skyscraper (I guess Williams Tower might rate, too, but you know what I mean). Hard to believe it hasn't been mentioned thus far.

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Everyone should go to the Menil. Its easily the best piece of architecture in all of Houston, if not Texas. The Kimball is a close second.

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Yes, green is good (I've added a few). So the updated list of Houston's architectural "gems":

Minute Maid Park (this ballpark is absolutely one of the best I've been to)

Williams Tower (I like how Philip Johnson also continues into the Galleria w/ streetscapes)

Sugar Land Town Square development (from a walkable standpoint)

Enron Building (even with all of the negative PR-- I really like it)

Wortham Center (even though it appears to lack detail, it speaks of it's time)

The Menil

Hobby Center for Performing Arts

BMC Campus, Westchase

Woodlands Town Center

The Rice Hotel/Lofts

MFA's Mies addition

Pennzoil

NASA Building 27 - Astronaut Quarantine Facility (LEED - Silver?)

Satterfield & Pontikes-11000 Equity Dr (possibly Houston's first LEED - Gold office building)

Anyone else care to add/comment?

NASA's Astronaut Quarantine Facility is just LEED certified, not gold or silver. It's a neat building and the first Green building for the Johnson Space Center.

I still love the Hindu mandir in Stafford. This is a mesmerizing worship facility. I highly recommend googling it, then going to see it because the pictures don't even remotely do it justice. Although it doesn't represent Houston's architecture, it represents the cultural diversity that we have. Just google Hindu mandir in Stafford, TX, the name I can't remember.

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I still love the Hindu mandir in Stafford. This is a mesmerizing worship facility. I highly recommend googling it, then going to see it because the pictures don't even remotely do it justice. Although it doesn't represent Houston's architecture, it represents the cultural diversity that we have. Just google Hindu mandir in Stafford, TX, the name I can't remember.

the BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir?

wait - you started this thread about it :)

6cyq3cj.jpg

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Here are my recomendations: Even though my taste might be very different

I really like the Sakowitz fur shopping center with the green roof (Westheimer @ Post Oak). I think it fits so nicely into the Uptown area, with the flag front and center it almost looks like a fake remake of a train station. But it really stands out with all the other buildings. It might not be a gem, but I can't stop looking at it when I'm at the starbucks there.

Also, this 3 or 4 story class A office building on Westhiemer across from the Galleria. It has some big palms infront of it, and a square geometric fountain. Alot of the modern buildings like this can also be found down Richmond. I enjoy the ones with parking lots, and the building is on stilts above it (Specifically the one with the white curved window shades, that remind me of an old nurses' hat. Along by Greenway Plaza, there are two that look like they could belong in the Lincoln Center. And this reposesion bank on Washington @ Waugh. Tiny pillars inbetween the glass, with a roof much larger then the base.

This warehouse in the immediate north of Downtown. The Spooky one that is on the Hardy Yards.

The Warwick Towers in the museum district.

The Williams Tower (of course).

Bank of America Center.

1 & 2 Houston Center, and Fulbright Tower (from the south).

Heritage Plaza

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