1986 Sesquicentennial Park Competition

Houston, Texas
Client: Houston Chapter of the American Institute of Architects

The lines of trees forming the western edge of the Wortham Plaza opens out to an ENTRY TERRACE (1) where steps and ramps lead down to the bayou park. The stairs pass under a segment of the parking ramp emerging to a lower level BRIDGE COURT (2) where the east side bayou walk intersects the south pedestrian bridge arriving at the WEST SIDE BRIDGE COURT (3) at the head of the HISTORICAL WALK (4), passing through six small MUSEUM PLAZAS (5). The six plazas are intended to serve as “rooms” in an outdoor museum for temporary exhibits, pageants, demonstrations and performaces. On the bayou side of the walk, the plazas open onto a companion set of waterside SITTING TERRACES (6) sited in the natural foliage of the bayou bank. To the north, the walk passes through the ROTUNDA (7), a cylindrical masonry enclosure formed around an ornamental garden. The rotunda serves as the hub of the park plan: the pedestrian bridge at the north end of the site crosses at this point and the ENTRANCE GATES (8). The corner of Bagby and Franklin Streets receive pedestrians from the north and west sides, leading them along descending ramps to join the bayou walk. The massive west wall of the Wortham Theater becomes a backdrop for the WATERWORKS (9). The walk through the waterworks is entirely surrounded by moving water. THE AMPHITHEATER PLAZA (10) serve for both a terraced promenade and waterfront park as well as an outdoor performance facility.