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Houston Endowment Headquarters

United States


  • Deborah Berke Partners with David Rubin Land Collective and Atelier Ten
  • Winner Kevin Daly Architects with TLS Landscape Architecture, Productora and Transsolar
  • Honourable mention Olson Kundig with Surfacedesign, Inc
  • Schaum/Shieh Architects with HKS and Andrea Cochran Landscape Architecture

Houston Endowment (HE), a leading philanthropic organisation based in Houston, Texas, U.S. launched a two-stage global search for an outstanding design team of architects and landscape architects for the philanthropy’s new headquarters in June 2019.

The circa 40,000 sq foot new center will be the organisation’s new public face and will provide dedicated space for its team and community partners, including healthy workspaces, accessible and inspiring meeting spaces, and flexible and innovative engagement facilities.

The US$20 million initiative will strengthen the endowment’s work bringing people together from public, private, non-profit and philanthropic sectors to achieve lasting positive change for low-income and under-served sections of the local population.

Houston Endowment does not actively fundraise; its funding is financed by an endowment, currently valued at US$1.8 billion.

The winning team beat 120 others in the course of the competition to secure the commission for this fast-track project, due to open in 2022.

The winning concept envisages an airy, elegant superstructure generously shaded by a large canopy within a grove of oak trees. In the team’s words, the new building, which is attuned to Houston’s demanding climate, is intended to be ‘as welcoming as the shadow beneath a tree’.

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

‘We wanted to bring outstanding architecture to Houston to complement Houston’s notable architectural wonders, and this design successfully communicates openness and transparency while also providing a tranquil and inviting presence.’