stairsSESRDA’s first national design competition was held in 1985 for Sesquicentennial Park, along Buffalo Bayou on the north side of downtown. Until then, an open competition for a major civic project was unprecedented in Houston. The project is now largely completed.

    Next came the Heart of Park Design Competition in 1992, co-sponsored with the fledgling Friends of Hermann Park and the city’s parks and recreation department. Entrants were asked to design a center around a reflecting pool in Houston’s Hermann Park, from the Sam Houston Monument to the Grand Basin. The competition led to a new master plan for the entire park by noted landscape architect Laurie Olin. The Heart of the Park improvements were completed in spring 2004.

    Hermann Park: Before and After

    Hermann Park: Before and After

    More recently, RDA and AIA Houston launched the 99K House Competition in October 2007, which has resulted in a winning design for an affordable, energy-efficient house. The house was completed in June 2009 on a lot in Houston’s Fifth Ward that was donated by the City of Houston through the Land Assemblage Redevelopment (LARA) program. It is hoped that the house will serve as a prototype and be replicated.99Khouse

    For more information, visit built projects and the competitions archive.