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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.

Images © the respective teams.

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.