AN Best of 2015 Award: Buffalo Bayou Park

For the third year in a row, the Architect’s Newspaper has announced their juried design awards. Buffalo Bayou Park, for which Page designed the built structures, was selected as Best of Urban Design Winner. One of the jurors commented, “The results are remarkable…” The City of Houston couldn’t agree more – its convention and visitors bureau features the park 284 times on their website

Page congratulates the Buffalo Bayou Partnership and planners and landscape architects, SWA Group. We were proud to collaborate with them by designing the built structures in the park to feel like natural extensions of the landscape.

The three Page-designed buildings in the park all occur in places where there is intensification of activity. The Lost Lake Building, which features a visitor center and a private event and dining space called The Dunlavy, occupies a high ridge above a re-established lake. It creates a long thin volume parallel to the lake in order to capture great vistas, nestle into mature trees, and lay amiably and naturally in its topography. 

At the Water Works Building the same architectural vocabulary is employed to frame an important plaza that acts as a gateway to the park.  A two-story volume creates an identifiable edge to the public space and a roof deck adds a dramatic overlook with views to the downtown skyline.  

The Water Works Pavilion extends that aesthetic to create a small covered stage for outdoor performances.  Throughout the park shade structures, rest rooms and other public venues are all developed from this unifying design vocabulary.

Below the Water Works lawn is the recently re-discovered "Cistern," the City of Houston’s original underground drinking-water reservoir. It now has a new accessible entrance, and a walkway winds around the interior perimeter of the 87,500-square-foot expanse, giving visitors a view of the rows of 25-foot tall concrete columns which stand in two inches of water on the reservoir’s floor. This space will be used for future art installations.

To read the full text about the Buffalo Bayou Park award and see other Architect’s Newspaper Best of 2015 design awards, click here.