Making the temporary permanent: A world's fair for Houston (Texas)
Schick, Susan Paula
Master of Architecture
Houston is a non-traditional city. It is a unique combination of the artificial and the natural, and to a large degree, very temporary. Buildings in this city last as long as the economy can support them, as evidenced by the great scraping-away of many historic structures downtown during the 60s and 70s. Skyscrapers rest on artificial concrete bedrock floating in the sandy Houston soil. The urban fabric is neither dense nor wide open. Layers and networks--some visible, some invisible--structure the city. Within this temporary environment exist permanent enclaves, in the form of built developments like River Oaks and West University Place, and rituals like International Festival and Rodeo. Another such enclave has been proposed, involving the transformation of the temporarily-occupied Astrodomain into a new, permanent community. This unique, new community sustains itself: short-lived celebrations bring life to it, and residences and work-places allow the activity to remain.
Architecture; Urban planning; Regional planning