Initially mapped in the 1970s, Houston’s floodplains continue to present unique physical, political, and economic challenges for architects and their clients. As new floodplain designations have created more exacting design and construction requirements over the years — and catastrophic flood events in the greater Houston region emphasize the stakes — RDA’s 42nd annual architecture tour explores the ways architects have responded to design with our bayous for resilience.
H2Ouston: Living in Flood Plains takes place on Saturday, March 25, and Sunday, March 26, from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. Current RDA members may purchase discounted tickets for $25. RDA membership is open to all! Tickets for all others are $35; tickets are $15 for students with ID.
The Architecture Tour is made possible by RDA Underwriters Generation Park, Louisa Stude Sarofim, Cardno, D.E. Harvey Builders, Hines, Houston First Corporation, TDIndustries, and Walter P Moore. Sponsorship support comes from Agile OFIS; ARC Document Solutions; Austin Commercial; Avadek Canopies & Walkway Covers; Brookstone; Builders West; Endurance Builders; Fellert North America; GSMA; McCarthy Building Companies, Inc.; Mechoshade; Midway; Office Pavilion; Parra Design Group; PDR; Rogers O’Brien Construction, LLC; Tellepsen; Trammell Crow Company; Walker Engineering; Weaver; The Woodlands Development Company; WSP; and Wylie Consulting Engineers.
The tour features the following buildings:
1019 Commerce Street
Sunset Coffee Building, c. 1910
Lake|Flato, BNIM, and SWA Group, 2016
5715 Logan Lane
Taft Architects, 1995
Nonya Grenader, 2017
5231 Braesvalley Drive
Brooks and Brooks, 1965
Brett Zamore Design, 2016
Francois de Menil, 2007
The tour is part of a trio of spring programs that explore the theme of resilience. A civic forum on March 8 presents local experts in dialogue with the community, and an Instagram Scavenger Hunt on April 1 encourages families to explore the bayou themselves.
The civic forum, Resilience Houston: Living in Flood Plains, will be held Wednesday, March 8, at 6p.m. at the Cherie Flores Garden Pavilion inside the McGovern Centennial Gardens at Hermann Park. It is free and open to the public. Moderated by Eric Berger, certified meteorologist, the forum features the following presenters:
Alisa Max, PE, General Services Division Manager, Harris County Engineering Department
David Robinson, Houston City Council At-Large #2
Alisa Max, P.E., General Service Manager, Harris County Engineering Department
Keiji Asakura, Principal Designer, Asakura Robinson
Wesley Highfield, Associate Professor, Department of Marine Sciences, Texas A&M University at Galveston
Ed Wolff, President, Beth Wolff Realtors
RDA Civic Forums are made possible by our 2017 Underwriters and our sponsors, including Minnette and Peter Boesel, DLR Group, Hoar Construction, Skanska USA Commercial Development, Telios, and Vaughn Construction.
The rdAGENTS Instagram Scavenger Hunt will be held Saturday, April 1, from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Teams will be challenged to walk and bike the new trails along Buffalo Bayou between Sabine Street and Shepherd Drive, explore the landscape and solve clues, and post photos to public Instagram accounts. Team registration will be available soon.
RDA has organized architecture tours every year since 1975 to help Houstonians experience firsthand the most interesting works of architecture and landscape and interior design in the city. Browse the tour archives, including last year’s tour of six houses with edible gardens.