Activate Commerce

Winning entry
January 29 to April 11, 2018

1019 Commerce Street at the Buffalo Bayou Building

This year rdAGENTS are joining forces with AIA young professionals to host a design charrette to challenge teams to reimagine the site of the Meat Packing Building along Commerce street. The site of the building serves as both a physical and conceptual nexus for urban design issues in Houston. Located within both the floodplain and floodway, the site raises questions about building in these highly sensitive locations post-Harvey. Set along Buffalo Bayou’s iconic trail system with an imminent new connection to the MKT Trail to the north, the site serves as a threshold between downtown and the Bayou Greenways system and creates opportunities for access and connectivity. Along Commerce Street, the building site has potentials for reconciling history with forward-thinking design solutions integrating multi-modal travel options. Teams will be asked to propose ideas to answer two questions: Could a new building proposal mediate the desire to build along a downtown waterfront to promote urban revitalization yet meet the strict criteria for floodway construction? Or should the site be transformed to greenspace to connect the street level to bayou level?

Key Dates

January 19, 2018  – Competition Registration Deadline

January 20, 2018 at 9:30am – Site Visit from 1019 Commerce Street

January 27, 2018 – 8:30am to 5pm Design Charrette

January 29, 2018 at 4pm to 6pm – Presentation to jury,

6pm to 8pm, Reception and Award

Jurors and Charrette Advisors

Anne Olson, President, Buffalo Bayou Partnership

Chip Place, Managing Director of Capital Programs, Houston Parks Board

Dan Zimmerman, CEO of New Form Real Estate

Angie Bertinot, Director of Marketing, Downtown Management District

Christopher Hight, Associate Professor of Architecture, Rice Architecture

Competition Prize Sponsor:  Houston Downtown Management District

rdAGENTS programs are made possible by our 2018 contributing firms including Boulevard Realty, Brave/Architecture, Cameron Management, Chamberlin Roofing & Waterproofing, Francois de Menil Architect, P.C., Garza+McLain Structural Engineers, Inc., IA Interior Architects, Luceco, Maiden Stone Inc., Method Architecture, munoz + albin Architecture & Planning, Murphy Mears Architects, Roque Strew, Shah Smith & Associates, Inc., The Mathis Group, Inc., Wells Design, Inc., and from the City of Houston through the Houston Arts Alliance and the Texas commission for the Arts.

rdAGENTS and AIA Steering Committee: Michael Robinson(SWA), Justin Smith (Walter P. Moore), Bryant Cook (Loftec Homes), Jarrett Ewing (HOK), Todd Niesner (Stantec)

Cite response: Nexus — Activate Commerce, Spring 2018 Charrette: A Response by Elizabeth Partridge