Lotus Pavilion For Hermann Park

Houston, Texas

Flowers… are a proud assertion that a ray of beauty out-values all the utilities of the world. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson, 1844 Consider a modern-day “ray of beauty,” however, that embraces utility while providing a glowing esthetic in if Houston’s preeminent park settings. That would be the Lotus Pavilion, a conceptualized architectural design, based on the lotus flower that would bring world-wide attention to its proposed location- Hermann Park – and to the city of Houston.
Sydney, Australia, has its Opera House, Paris the Grande Arche of La Defense and Bilbao the Guggenheim Museum. Houston, on the other hand, has nothing of similar merit, having time and again lost opportunities to create a significant public space or monumental architectural symbol.
I suggest a proposal to rectify that situation with the unique design of a soaring pavilion that will provide Houston with both a landmark of innovative architecture and a focal point for public interaction. Imagine a singularly dramatic structure constructed of a steel and glass frame that is covered in translucent canvas, a foil to harsh sunlight and a facilitator of welcome shade. As the light of the day falls, the structure’s canvas covering opens to create a stunning lotus-like formation, accompanied and enriched by color-changing LED lighting. The result is a dramatic architectural form unlike anything else in the city if not the country. The Lotus Pavilion floating in the pond will make a dramatic land mark at the end of the reflection pool. The basic function of the building will be dictated by the interests of the community. It could function as a full-service restaurant both day and night, taking inspiration from New York’s Tavern on the Green while playing on the added dynamic of a changing silhouette at sunset. Or it could serve as a public space, available for everything from weddings to charity galas, from political fundraisers to bar mitzvahs.