Designed by Overland Partners Architects, the $11 million, eight-acre Plaza features landscaped grounds with native plantings, scenic promenades, and five new buildings
HOUSTON, March 8, 2010 – Houston’s Hermann Park Lake Plaza has officially been awarded LEED Gold Certification from the U.S. Green Building Council. Designed by San Antonio-based Overland Partners Architects, the $11 million, eight-acre Hermann Park Lake Plaza opened in May 2009 as the threshold to the 445-acre Hermann Park, Houston’s finest and most-visited public park.
The Plaza features newly landscaped grounds with native plantings, new scenic promenades, and five newly-constructed buildings, including a paddle boat pavilion with a boathouse, the Hermann Park Mini-Train depot with satellite stations around the park, a public restroom facility, a café and terrace, and a volunteer and maintenance building. Also, the Plaza’s new Tiffany & Co. Foundation Bridge arches across a 7.5-acre lake lagoon, offering romantic views from a newly accessible vantage point, increased connectivity within the park, and enhanced beauty of the area without disturbing the natural surroundings.
A variety of green strategies addressing site, water, energy, materials and resource conservation were incorporate in its design. For example, shed roofs were designed to produce positive airflow through breezeways to cool pedestrians in Houston's hot climate; all mature trees were saved and incorporated into the Plaza’s design; and the glulam timber wood used in the buildings’ construction is a renewable resource with six million trees planted daily in the United States.
“Each building was constructed with glued laminated timber columns and graceful curved glulam roof framing that is exposed on the interior and exterior,” said Scott Adams of Overland Partners. “The natural aesthetics of the timber were appropriate for a park location yet also convey a warm, natural appearance and present a seamless integration of nature and building.”
Other elements that reinforce the Plaza’s green commitment include the design of a public art project that integrates art by Jesse Lott, a local artist known for using found objects, and the Mary Gibbs and Jesse H. Jones Greenway, a prominent environmentally-friendly feature that collects water from the Plaza and naturally filters pollutants as it travels from the park to Houston’s Buffalo Bayou. The Greenway also serves as a detention basin, holding water during heavy rainfall to help reduce flooding along the Bayou.
In addition to Overland Partners Architects, Hermann Park Lake Plaza project team members include Vaughn Construction as the contractor, Walter P. Moore as the engineer, White Oak Studios as the landscape architect, and Hermann Park Conservancy and the Houston Parks and Recreation Department as the developers.
ABOUT OVERLAND PARTNERS
Overland Partners Architects, founded in 1985 in San Antonio, Texas, is a realization of a vision to bring together a wide range of talents in architecture and planning, in order to provide comprehensive and multi-disciplinary design service. Sensitive to the environmental and aesthetic context in which we are asked to design, the firm strives for a thoughtful integration of technology, art, and craft through highly sustainable solutions. Overland Partners Architects offers its clients the ultimate goal of creating a beautiful, functional and enduring design through a process that inspires long-term relationships and is rewarding to the entire project team. For more information, visit www.overlandpartners.com.