Houston Endowment Headquarters International Design Competition


Houston Endowment Headquarters Design Competition finalists’ gallery published

Shortlisted design concepts by Deborah Berke Partners, Olson Kundig and Schaum/Shieh Architects revealed for the first time

Clockwise from top left: designs by Deborah Berke Partners, Kevin Daly Architects, Olson Kundig and Schaum/Shieh Architects.

Leading philanthropy Houston Endowment and competition organizers Malcolm Reading Consultants (MRC) today [February 26 2020] released the full set of competition imagery – including all four shortlisted design concepts – for the Houston Endowment Headquarters International Design Competition.

Previously unaired proposals by the three runner-up teams, led by Deborah Berke Partners, Olson Kundig and Schaum/Shieh Architects, are now available to view on the competition website, along with further images of the winning design by Kevin Daly Architects (KDA) and PRODUCTORA.

A total of 121 teams from 22 countries entered this two-stage competition, which concluded in late 2019.

A private, place-based foundation valued at $1.8 billion, Houston Endowment works to address and take a long-term position on key areas of opportunity that will elevate the city. The Endowment convenes thought leadership, provides funding and collaborates with the public, private, non-profit and philanthropic sectors to achieve lasting positive change for the region.

The new $20 million Headquarters will enable the Endowment to relocate from its current offices in the city’s business district and embed itself within the community. Scheduled to open in 2022, the 40,000 sq ft building will provide dedicated space for its team and community partners, including healthy workspaces, accessible meeting spaces and flexible and innovative engagement facilities.

Ann Stern, President and CEO, Houston Endowment, said:

‘The competition attracted great interest from the global design community. It was exciting to observe this creative work in progress, and we wanted to share the finalists’ design concepts more widely.
‘Now that the designs are all online, we hope architectural enthusiasts will be inspired by, and learn from, these exceptional schemes and share our enthusiasm of what this new building will represent in Houston.’

Malcolm Reading, Competition Director, said:

‘Where possible we always like to publish a full set of competition schemes – we are grateful for the work put in by the finalists, and their creativity and talent deserves public recognition and acknowledgment.
‘In the case of this competition, the four shortlisted design concepts were detailed, credible schemes, all capable of being delivered. It was evident in the proposals that all teams were moved by the Endowment’s community ethos and by Houston’s distinctive landscape and history.
‘Deciding between four such exemplary designs was a very enjoyable task. The Selection Committee would like to thank all the teams for their dedication to the project.’

The four finalist teams were shortlisted in August 2019. They were asked to submit design concepts for the new Headquarters,before being interviewed by the Selection Committee in October 2019. The team led by Kevin Daly Architects (KDA) and PRODUCTORA was the unanimous choice of the Committee, who also awarded Olson Kundig an Honorable Mention.

An honorarium of US$50,000 was paid to each shortlisted team for their design work.

Established in 1937 by Jesse H. and Mary Gibbs Jones, the Houston Endowment is a leader in Houston’s philanthropic sphere. The foundation works to support under-resourced communities in the greater Houston area, and in 2019 provided funding of c. US$70.3 million to over 200 organizations across a wide range of areas including education, healthcare, immigration, the environment and the arts.

Notes to Editors

About Houston Endowment

Houston Endowment is a private philanthropic institution that works across the community for the benefit of the people of greater Houston.

The foundation provides approximately $70 million in funding each year in order to enhance civic assets, strengthen systems that support residents, promote post-secondary success, and build a stronger region.

Established by Jesse H. and Mary Gibbs Jones in 1937, Houston Endowment has a rich legacy of addressing some of greater Houston’s most compelling needs. Today the foundation continues efforts to create a vibrant community where all have the opportunity to thrive.

About Malcolm Reading Consultants

Malcolm Reading Consultants (MRC) is a strategic consultancy that helps clients to imagine and define contemporary environments, both built and natural. MRC is the leading specialist in devising and managing design competitions internationally. MRC believes in the power of design to create new perceptions and act as an inspiration.

Recent work includes competitions for the Powerhouse Parramatta (Sydney, Australia); MK:U (UK); the Cambridge to Oxford Connection (UK); University College Dublin (Ireland); Gallaudet University (Washington, D.C., US); Kaunas M.K. Čiurlionis Concert Centre (Lithuania); the Royal College of Art (UK); the V&A (UK); the Mumbai City Museum (India); and new buildings for the UK’s New College, Oxford, and St Catharine’s College, Cambridge.

About the Finalist Teams

Kevin Daly Architects

with PRODUCTORA, TLS Landscape Architecture, Arup and Transsolar (and Houston-based Kirksey Architecture)

Kevin Daly Architects (KDA), recognized for their environmentally and socially responsive educational, residential, and institutional projects, brings together landscape architect TLS Landscape Architecture (TLS), Mexico City-based PRODUCTORA, and climate responsive building design expert Thomas Auer of Transsolar for this endeavor. The team’s collective expertise in the design of community centers, civic parks, socially significant urban structures, and environmentally responsive buildings provides a solid foundation for the development of contemporary urban design solutions. Recent projects by KDA include the UCLA Ostin Basketball Center, Broadway Affordable Housing and, with TLS, Housing Northwest Arkansas. PRODUCTORA is known for the design of the Teopanzolco Cultural Center in Cuernavaca and the Teotitlan del Valle Community Center in Oaxaca. TLS recently completed the Railroad Park in Birmingham, Alabama and the first phase of the Boulder Civic Area.

Deborah Berke Partners

with DAVID RUBIN Land Collective and Atelier Ten

Deborah Berke Partners is an award-winning, New York City-based architecture firm, founded in 1982 by Deborah Berke, the Dean of the Yale School of Architecture. Known for its modern, true-to-place design, Deborah Berke Partners’ most significant projects include the Cummins Indy Distribution Headquarters in Indianapolis, the Rockefeller Arts Center at SUNY Fredonia, the 122 Community Arts Center in New York City, The Women’s Building in New York City, and the New Residential Colleges at Princeton University. In 2017, the firm was honored with the National Design Award from the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum.

DAVID RUBIN Land Collective is a landscape architecture and urban design studio committed to practicing with an emphasis on socially-purposeful design strategies. Their notable projects include the new urban park at the Cummins Indy Distribution Headquarters in Indianapolis, Franklin Park in Washington D.C., and Envision Columbus: Downtown Strategic Development Plan in Columbus, Indiana.

Olson Kundig

with Surfacedesign, Inc

Now in its sixth decade of practice, Olson Kundig is a collaborative global design practice whose work includes cultural and museum projects, exhibition design, commercial and mixed-use design, private and multi-family residential, hospitality projects, places of worship, interior design, product design and landscape design for clients around the world. The firm’s design approach is grounded in the belief that buildings can act as bridges between culture, nature and people, and that inspiring surroundings can positively affect every aspect of our daily lives. Olson Kundig is led by five owners – Jim Olson, Tom Kundig, Kirsten R. Murray, Alan Maskin and Kevin M. Kudo-King – who have been honored with some of the nation’s highest design awards, including a National Design Award in Architecture from the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum and an Academy Award in Architecture from the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

Schaum/Shieh Architects

with HKS and Andrea Cochran Landscape Architecture

Houston-based architects Schaum/Shieh and HKS and San Francisco-based Andrea Cochran Landscape Architecture are internationally recognized practices with a commitment to understanding the needs of our community as collections of citizens and unique ecologies.

Schaum/Shieh is known for its award-winning work for the Judd Foundation, Chinati Foundation, White Oak Music Hall and Transart House, named by Architect’s Newspaper as the best building of 2018. Schaum/Shieh, the recipient of several AIA Honor Awards, was also a winner of the 2016 New Practices New York from the AIA, and named one of the 2019 Emerging Voices by the Architectural League. HKS’s work includes notable projects for MD Anderson Cancer Center, Hines, Rice University and IAH Airport, among others. ACLA projects, most importantly their affordable housing work, have been recognized internationally and honored with awards from the Cooper-Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum and a National American Society of Landscape Architects Design Medal.