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Malcolm Reading Consultants appointed to run Houston Endowment International Design Competition

Fast-track two-stage open competition for US philanthropic foundation to launch in June 2019

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Malcolm Reading Consultants (MRC) has been appointed to run a fast-track international design competition for a new headquarters for Houston Endowment, a US philanthropic organisation based in Houston, Texas, US.

The independent architectural competition organiser will launch the two-stage open competition in June 2019 to find a design architect for Houston Endowment’s new headquarters. The second stage will start in early August; the winner announcement is expected at the end of November.

One of the largest private foundations in Texas, Houston Endowment funds work that benefits the people of greater Houston in areas such as education, civic engagement, the arts and the environment. The new headquarters project is part of a wider drive to create a more community-based identity and support the organisation’s collaborative approach to its work.

The new 40,000 sq ft building will provide a permanent office space for Houston Endowment as well as incorporating flexible and innovative facilities that will serve the local community. The project, which has a construction budget of circa US$20 million, represents a significant investment by Houston Endowment in the local community and will enable the foundation to increase the impact of its civic engagement and programmes, in addition to maintaining its current funding levels.

Interested architects and designers can now sign up to receive notification of the launch on the competition website’s holding page.

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

‘We will be searching for an outstanding design architect and structuring the competition around engagement and creativity so we can explore with entrants what other functions the headquarters building might have and how it can relate to and serve the community here.
‘We are looking for applicants from across the globe who are attuned to our philanthropic aims and who share our ambitions to enhance the vibrancy of Houston and promote equity of opportunity for its residents.’

Competition Director, Malcolm Reading, said:

‘We are very excited about running this open two-stage international competition – this is an open-minded initiative which should appeal to an ambitious, progressive architect interested in societal change.
‘Houston Endowment has done much valuable work in Houston since its establishment 82 years ago, and the new headquarters will give it the launch pad to increase the foundation’s impact and ability to enact deeper change in the region.’

MRC will work with Houston Endowment and its advisers to devise the competition materials, liaise with stakeholders and ensure absolute independence in the competition process.

A Selection Committee comprised of a mixture of representatives from Houston Endowment and external advisers will assess the design submissions at stage two and select a winner.

Malcolm Reading Consultants’ recent work includes competitions for the Powerhouse Precinct at Parramatta (Sydney, Australia); MK:U (UK); the Cambridge to Oxford Connection (UK); University College Dublin (Ireland); Gallaudet University (Washington, D.C., US); the Royal College of Art (London, UK); Tintagel Castle Bridge (UK); New College, Oxford (UK); and St Catharine’s College, Cambridge (UK).