Houston Endowment Headquarters International Design Competition


Shortlist announced for Houston Endowment Headquarters International Design Competition

  • Four teams chosen to create concept designs for a new headquarters for US philanthropic organization
  • Competition attracts Expressions of Interest from 121 teams comprising 354 individual firms

Houston Endowment (HE), a philanthropic organization based in Houston, Texas, U.S., and design competition organizers Malcolm Reading Consultants (MRC) today [6 August 2019] announced the shortlist for the Houston Endowment Headquarters International Design Competition.

The first stage of the competition, which launched in June 2019, attracted 121 team submissions comprising 354 individual firms.

The four finalist teams are (in alphabetical order by team lead):

  • Deborah Berke Partners with DAVID RUBIN Land Collective and Atelier Ten
  • Kevin Daly Architects with TLS Landscape Architecture, Productora and Transsolar
  • Olson Kundig with Surfacedesign, Inc
  • Schaum/Shieh Architects with HKS and Andrea Cochran Landscape Architecture

Collaborations between established and emerging talent and strong partnerships between architects and landscape architects were encouraged. Stage one criteria included a demonstration of qualifications: details of the proposed team; examples of relevant experience; and an initial approach to the project. The finalists were selected by a Shortlisting Panel, which included the client, senior client representatives and advisors, and MRC.

The initiative, on a site adjoining Spotts Park near downtown Houston, will embed Houston Endowment in the community and strengthen its work bringing people together from public, private, non-profit and philanthropic sectors to achieve lasting, positive change for low-income and under-served sections of the local population and to enhance the vibrancy of the greater Houston region.

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

“We were thrilled with the response to our competition. We want to thank all the applicants for the effort put into their submissions; it was a privilege to see so much talent and vision. We look forward to selecting a winner later this year to help us bring more great architecture to Houston and give us a headquarters that better supports the foundation in pursuit of our mission.”

Malcolm Reading, Competition Director, said:

“We had an outstanding response to our call for interest and the project’s special combination of workplace, community engagement, landscape and placemaking drew out many innovative, talented teams.
“However, the final four demonstrated in their submissions the strongest mix of skills, know-how and understanding of the ambitions of the project outcomes.
“It has been a special pleasure working in Houston; the client is determined that design excellence will bring multiple benefits to the organization’s work and reach. The city’s pedigree in outstanding modern buildings is a tough benchmark, but we expect these teams to come up with something inspirational.”

The headquarters, 40,000 square feet in size, will be the organization’s new public face and will provide dedicated space for its team and community partners, including healthy workspaces, accessible and inspiring meeting spaces, and flexible and innovative engagement facilities.

The finalist teams will attend a site visit in Houston and receive a detailed briefing in mid-August. All teams will be required to include an architect registered in the state of Texas as part of their team at Stage Two.

They will have 10 weeks to create a concept design before the Selection Committee meets to interview them. The Selection Committee includes Jesse H. Jones II, chair, Houston Endowment Board; Guy Hagstette, vice president of parks and civic projects, Kinder Foundation; Joseph C. Dilg, board member, Houston Endowment; Ann Stern, president and CEO, Houston Endowment; Tom Forney, president and CEO, Forney Construction; and Malcolm Reading, competition director. Two further additional members will be announced on the competition website in the coming weeks.

It is intended that the project, which has a construction value of US$20 million(excluding FF&E), will connect strongly with the wider landscape and park.

The funding for the project has been secured, along with the site, and the project has a fast-track timetable –the finished building is due to open in May 2022.

An honorarium of US$50,000 will be paid to each shortlisted team for their design work when the competition concludes with the selection of the winner.

The winner announcement is expected in November 2019.

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 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 Shortlisted Teams (as supplied by the teams)

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.

Kevin Daly Architects with TLS Landscape Architecture, Productora and Transsolar

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.

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.