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A new Multi-modal Station near Houston’s Medical Center

Leveraged confluences

Houston in Transit

Part of considering these nodes is the

understandings. The parking and

Parking as Poche

idea of continuity vs. fragmentation. The two distinct parts of the project lend themselves to very different

To go beyond a transit station’s

infrastructural moves can be

traditional prerogative (moving

understood comprehensively and

people and representing a city) and

planometrically. They set up a series

to become a more inclusive, multi-use

of discrete spaces (ie column bays

public space, Leveraged Confluences

or parking spots). The figure within,

embraces Houston’s exemplar of anti-

however, can be understood only

public transportation: the automobile.

in fragments, scenographically and

A symbol of independence from other

sectionally. This understanding of a

people and particularly in Texas,

public social condenser recognizes the

the government, the automobile has

contingency of interaction. The play

strongly imprinted Houston’s urbanism

between these two extremes, their

in the form of ubiquitous and extensive

typical isolation and their occasional

surface parking lots.

collision are the project’s formal interest and framework for a social

This project takes the logic of placing

agency.

small buildings in expansive fields of parking and turns it 90 degrees,

Urbanistically, the projects suggests

taking the relationship as a sectional

a block emphasizing the Holcombe

provocation. Thus the project balances

corridor and greater density in

a contextual attitude toward Houston,

response to the presence of the multi-

with a projective one about the

modal station.

possibility of uniting public and private transportation, rather than strongly biasing one or the other. Formally and programmatically the idea of unifying diverse threads is picked up as parts of the programmed figure within the parking deck field extend to the ground level and engage different contexts--whether a busy street, the transportation needs of the neighborhoods to the East, or the ludic whimsy of park-goers to the north.


Figure inserted in field of parking

Transverse sections


Ground Plan

Transverse sections

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The facade registers the insertion of red, programmed spaces into the new garage


Third and Fourth Floor Plans: Theater, Retail, Cafe, Light-rail access.

Fifth and Sixth Floor Plans: Parking

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The interior of the garage is animated by glass elevators, retail outlets, a movie theater and


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1/16th”=1’ section model


New Infrastructure integrates and challenges the highway culture of Houston

Houston’s Transit Future Despite its long history of asphaltobsession, bicycle-hatred, and heavy light rail indifference, Houston is well-positioned to take advantage of a multi-modal train station in the Texas Medical Center. The success of the existing light rail line suggests the sentiments of Houstonians are shifting. If we take increased dependence on mass transit as a given, the questions turn to the relationship between the new and old modes of navigating the city. The infrastructure, and the enormous investment it represents, is well-placed to continue moving thousands of cars, at high speeds, anytime, anywhere. However more sustainable modes of transportation, increasing, will be essential. The only way to gain traction with Houston’s socially and economically diverse population is by acknowledging the role of the automobile and embracing its possibilities to inform the infrastructure of the future.

Houston Transit Station  
Houston Transit Station  

A provocation on Houston's Automobile culture and it's interface with public transit

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