Category Archives: Architecture Tours

Nourish: An Architecture Tour of Houses and Edible Gardens

UPDATE: We have stopped selling online tickets as of Friday, April 8, at 5 p.m., but tickets can be purchased in person at any of the four cashier locations listed below:

    4523 Teas Street
    3312 University Boulevard
    1514 Banks Street
    748 Arlington Street
1514 Banks. Photo: Paul Hester.

1514 Banks. Photo: Paul Hester.

As farming and gardening flourish in urban areas, with farms sprouting everywhere from utility corridors to former industrial sites, we see a renewed passion for a habit of dwelling that feeds the spirit and the body. Read More

Spring 2015 Architecture Tour: afterWARDS

1515 Woodhead Street by pb elemental design. Photos: Paul Hester.

Though the ward system in Houston was abandoned in 1905, the six original neighborhoods retain strong senses of place and provide residents a tangible link, through architecture, to history and identity. The Rice Design Alliance Spring 2015 Architecture Tour, afterWARDS: An Architecture Tour of Houston’s Wards and Beyond, features houses that both stand out from and speak back to the original character of the six wards, emphasizing the past out of which Houston continues to evolve and expand. Read More

The French Connection: 2015 RDA Hometown Tours Explore New Orleans and France

Opéra Nouvel in Lyon by Jean Nouvel.

Opéra Nouvel in Lyon by Jean Nouvel.

In 2015, the RDA Hometown Tours will take a French twist. In April we will visit New Orleans and the Louisiana Bayou Country, followed by a week in France in May and June. Both trips will focus on historic and modern architecture, and the itinerary will be interspersed with unmatched gastronomic experiences. Read More

RDA Hometown Tour to Santiago, Chile

Chile: Land of a Thousand and One Sights
RDA 2014 Hometown International Tour
June 8-14, 2014

$3,600 pp/dbl

Chile’s distinct geography and remoteness is intensified by a set of unique landscape conditions that range from the world’s driest desert to the north to the incomparable Andes to the east, from the limitless Pacific Ocean to the west to the spellbinding fjords cascading all the way south to Tierra del Fuego. The Spanish Conquistador Pedro de Valdivia (1500-1553) founded Santiago in 1541 at what turned out to be an ideal location: close to the middle of the thinnest and longest country imaginable. Occupying the basin of this rich fertile valley, Santiago is the country’s strategic capital, cultural, political and financial center, as well as the largest metropolis with a population of close to 6 million people (in a country of 17 million people as per the 2012 census).

A significant watershed in Chile’s recent history was the election of Salvador Allende in 1970, the first democratically elected Marxist president, a short lived but cathartic moment for the country. Allende (1908-1973) was killed during a military coup led by General Augusto Pinochet who ruled the country under a harsh and brutal dictatorship (1973-1990). Upon the demise of Pinochet’s regime the country ventured forward with the expeditious establishment of democratic institutions. This dramatic transformation was the result of timely political will aided by a similar will to develop important social, infrastructural, and cultural projects. Today Chile enjoys one of the most stable governments in the Americas, an emerging power in the region and beyond, with a growing economy and the benefits of a working democracy. Paralleling the changes of these last two decades, Chilean architects have received growing international attention, gaining the respect and admiration the world over for the outstanding quality, rigor, and inventiveness of their architecture.

Our trip to Santiago, and to such nearby cities as Valparaiso and Vina del Mar, will reveal the expansive architecture/urbanism of this singular and intriguing country. The one-week trip (June 8 – June 14) will bring us in contact with the country’s most notable architects such as Jose Cruz Ovalle, Mathias Klotz, Alejandro Aravena, Smiljan Radic, Cristian Undurraga, Felipe Assadi of Assadi and Pulido Architects, and Cecilia Puga, to name a few. Equally important is the exposure to the rich and multifarious life of this cosmopolitan metropolis by sampling an array of local experiences, including the food, music, and dynamic art scene. To that end we will have the opportunity to visit such landmarks as the National Fine Arts Museum, the Museum of Memory and Human Rights, the Plaza de La Moneda Cultural Center, recent faculty buildings and libraries designed for the Pontifical Catholic University and the Diego Portales University, progressive housing projects such as Edificio Gen, insightful mix-use developments such as Edificio Cruz de Sur, and the memorable Mestizo Restaurant, to name some of the architectural sites that we will visit during our stay in Chile. Other highlights include a visit to a private winery on the outskirts of Santiago, and to “Open City,” the celebrated experimental architectural project along the Pacific Ocean in Valparaiso, Chile’s second largest city.

The tour will be led by Carlos Jimenez and Stephen Fox, as well as local experts. To secure your reservation, please complete and return the registration form and the terms and conditions document with your deposit. Click here to see the trip’s itinerary. For more information contact Lynn Kelly at 713-256-3244 or

Additionally: Spring 2014 Architecture Tour

The 38th Annual Rice Design Alliance Architecture Tour will take place from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday, March 29, and Sunday, March 30, 2014. Titled “Additionally,” this spring’s tour will take RDA members and their guests to eight Houston residences, dating from 1885 to 1964, that have been given substantial additions in recent years by local architecture firms. RDA has organized tours every year since 1975 to help Houstonians experience firsthand the most interesting works of architecture and landscape and interior design in the city. This March, tourgoers will see how local firms have increased the size, functional space, and use of the older residences, introduced technologically advanced building materials, and brought together contrasting architectural styles and periods.

Click here to view a custom map with photos of the houses and information about where you will be able to buy tickets and sign up for memberships.

And click here to buy your tickets!

The residences and firms responsible for the original house as well as the addition are below; all photos by Paul Hester.

707 Sabine
1885; 2000, Gary Eades; 2009, Janusz Design

216 Avondale
1918, Russell Brown Company; 2012, m+a architecture

3503 Audubon Place
1920; 2011, Interloop – Architecture

823 Peddie
1925, Sears Kit; 2007, Brett Zamore Design

1701 Colquitt
1925; 2011, Ben Koush & Associates

1810 Bissonnet
1927; 2002, Wittenberg Studio

5503 Sturbridge
1960, Marshall S. MacDougal; 2008, Dillon Kyle Architecture

5219 South Braeswood
1964, Arthur Steinberg; 2014, Stern + Bucek

The tour is open only to RDA members and their guests. RDA memberships begin at $45 and can be purchased during the tour at designated ticket-buying locations or in advance online and in person at the RDA office on the Rice University campus. Memberships purchased at the Student or Individual level include one complimentary ticket; memberships at the Household level and above include two. Ticket prices for current members and their guests are $25, and $15 for Student and Senior members.

The Rice Design Alliance is an AIA/CES Registered Provider of educational programs. For this tour, attendees will earn two Learning Units. Learning Units will be reported to CES Records on the member’s behalf. Registration at one house on the tour is required. Non-AIA members can pick up a Certificate of Completion to fulfill state MCE requirements.

Architecture Tour Features Rice-Designed Homes

6136 Kirby Drive Location designed by Wittenberg Partnership

Our 2013 Architecture Tour will occur Saturday, April 6 and Sunday, April 7, 2013. To commemorate the 40th anniversary of RDA and the Centennial celebrations of Rice University and the Rice School of Architecture, the tour, titled Centennial Tour, will showcase ten significant Houston residences designed by Rice School of Architecture faculty throughout the school’s 100 year history.

Designed by educator-practitioner architects including William Ward Watkin, Anderson Todd, and Nonya Grenader, the homes on the tour are a testament to the enduring impact that the school has made on the residential community in Houston. Spanning ten decades, the tour-goer will have a unique opportunity to reflect on the changes and evolutions—from the traditional to the avant garde—that architecture has undergone over the past century, as interpreted by local talent.

RDA members and their guests are invited to attend the tour. You can purchase tickets here!


* A location where you can purchase tickets on the tour.

What: 2013 RDA Architecture Tour: Centennial Tour

The tour is open only to RDA members and their guests. RDA memberships begin at $45 and can be purchased during the tour at ticket-buying locations or in advance at the RDA office or online, and include one complimentary tour ticket at the Student or Individual level or two complimentary tickets at the Household level and above. Ticket prices for members and their guests are $25. Students and Senior Citizens may get in for $15. PLEASE BRING A COPY OF YOUR EMAIL RECEIPT WITH YOU TO PICK UP TICKETS PURCHASED ONLINE AT WILL-CALL LOCATED AT 2409 AVALON PLACE.


* 1318 North Boulevard
1926, William Ward Watkin

* 1 Spring Hollow
1958, James C. Morehead, Jr.

9 Shadowlawn Circle
1961, Anderson Todd

2246 Quenby Road
1972, 1982, William T. Cannady

2126 Pine Valley Drive
1936, Claude E. Hooton

* 9 Pine Hill Lane
1989, Carlos Jiménez Studio

* 6136 Kirby Drive
1996, Wittenberg Partnership

2231 Wroxton Road
2008, Nonya Grenader

* 2424 White Oak Drive
2012, Taft Architects

* 2409 Avalon Place
2009, Interloop—Architecture

The Rice Design Alliance has held architecture tours every year since 1975 to acquaint Houstonians with the best examples of architecture, interior design, and landscape design in the city.

The Rice Design Alliance is an AIA/CES Registered Provider of educational programs. For this tour, attendees will earn two Learning Units. Learning Units will be reported to CES Records on the member’s behalf. Registration at one house on the tour is required. Non-AIA members may pick up a Certificate of Completion to fulfill state MCE requirements.