HOUSTON BOTANIC GARDEN MASTER PLAN
Robinson   Nov 30.-0001
Biodiversity is life, a concept that West 8 tried to empower through promoting public appreciation and understanding of plants and gardens as well as the conservation of nature.

Introduction

The Houston Botanic  Garden, design by West 8, prepares to make that vision a reality. This Master Plan  articulates the potential of the future Houston Botanic Garden  over the next 20 to 30 years.Encompassing 120 acres (49 hectares), the Houston Botanic Garden will replace a golf course in the suburb of Glenbrook Valley, near the city's airport. The area is bordered by the Sims Bayou, a major waterway in Houston.

Reason to Be Selected

The goal of master plan is to enrich people’s lives through outstanding displays and programs, serve as a model for sustainability, and inspire all who visit to become environmental stewards as they learn more about plants and the entire natural world.

Highlights:

Protection of the native plants
Sustainable transportation traffics
The network of pathways providing shelter

Details

Located at Sims Bayou site, east of the Gulf Freeway and south of Park Place Blvd. The site has been provided by the City of Houston the with a long-term lease for the 120-acre in order to conservate the plant heritage of Houston.The Sims Bayou and the Bayou Meander serve as framing devices that protect and enhance the experience of the gardens and the bayou. With these water bodies as a site-organizers, the Garden is divided into two main precincts: the Island and the South Gardens.

The design proposes lifting the existing topography to elevate the gardens and permanent structures out of the flood plain.  The South Gardens is the place of
arrival for all visitors. It features an open lawn which is a relaxing, day-to-day place for picnics and strolling, but also supports community events.A hike/bike trail extends along Glenview Drive, with a proposed section along Sims Bayou that would connect the Garden to the extensive network of Greater Houston hike and bike trails.

The Island will be dominated by gardens,both naturalistic and cultivated. These gardens provide year-round beauty,delight the senses, and educate young and old alike. A conservatory buildingextends the plant repertoire to provide a setting for exotic plants from tropical climates. Visitor-oriented amenities like educational facilities, an events pavilion, a café, and a lecture hall, are strategically located to provide destinations and provisions for guests. All of these are linked by an extensive network of pathways, many of which offer shade and are weather-protected by colonnades.

By weaving together shady pathways, a mosaic of ever-changing gardens, the bayou and other water bodies, West 8’s Master Plan for Houston Botanic Garden amplifies the potential of the site’s qualities and unites the site into a coherent, “only-in-Houston,” garden experience.

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In addition to the beauty and educational opportunities the Garden will provide, the Greater Houston Partnership estimates (assuming a Phase One construction cost of $40 million) the Garden will have a one-time economic impact on the region of $93.4 million, and that once open, operations and tourism will contribute between $19.6 million and $24.4 million to Houston’s economy annually, depending on attendance.

Conclusions

West 8’s Master Plan for Houston Botanic Garden articulates the potential future for the Garden over the coming decades. The Plan takes its inspiration and structure from the best qualities of the existing site, and gives forethought to the biggest environmental challenges: flooding and intense weather events.

 

 

 

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