HOUrgbo : The Houston Constellation
Master of Architecture
The Houston Constellation is a type of architectural urbanism situated at the intersection of urban revision and projections for cultures yet unknown. The intent is to provide a template for refiguring new lines of sight and interaction within the contemporary city, between contingent forces, institutions, and a public in flux. The Houston Superdistrict: a heterogeneous collection of 20th Century urban paradigms packed loosely underneath a thick canopy. Institutions in medicine, the arts, education, and recreation make it a major hub for local and global populations. The area is undergoing a transformation, yet in contrast to its ambitious visions, current plans project investment that may drop more single objects into this static field. This project proposes an alternative. A constellation of form that slides across cold boundaries and catalyzes a new spatial consciousness to produce a newly legible environment. Encouraging creativity- the very hope for the district in the first place- begins with architectural performance and contextual interaction. Techniques and tactics of planametric alignment, visual continuity, and material cohesion provide the system a relational fitness, while establishing a larger counterform against context’s existing linear boulevards, axes, and grids. Four forms (R,G,B,O) based on site-specific conditions, constitute programmatic points with distinct characters. A complementary duality, the figures in the park (O & B) engage the spatial and airy quality of the city. While the institutional figures (R & G) embed themselves within the local form of their respective campuses. Producing new linkages between fabric and institution: the Museum of Fine Arts Houston and Rice University link through a new space for the arts in the public realm. Hermann Park’s City Beautiful design is reawoken with a new spine and periphery.
Architectural urbanism; Constellation; Color Fields; Houston