Houston Endowment Headquarters by Kevin Daly Architects

Kevin Daly Architects (kdA) announced the completion of the new headquarters of Houston Endowment, designed by kdA with Mexico City-based collaborator PRODUCTORA. The nearly 32,000-square-foot, $21 million building serves as the Foundation’s first purpose-built headquarters.

The organization’s relocation from an office tower in Downtown Houston to an engaging, sustainable, and accessible new headquarters in Spotts Park reflects its on-the-ground ethic as a vital source of support and collaboration within the city. The building provides the Foundation with a new way of working with its partners across the public, private, and nonprofit sectors.

Photo © Iwan Baan

Building Design
The Houston Endowment headquarters has been thoughtfully designed to be the center of a network, equally a meeting place for members of the community and for the distribution of resources and expertise back to the community at large.

The headquarters was i magined to have an anchoring quality in a transient city, a measure against the significant urban transformation that has followed the restoration of the Buffalo B ayou and the surrounding neighborhood The challenge of the project addressed by kdA and the design team was to create a building that is simultaneously a front door and a back porch for the organization.

Photo © Iwan Baan

The front door is the public representation of the Foundation formal enough to greet institutional par tners while remaining approachable for any member of the community to feel welcome, with a strong sense of belonging for collaborators and first time visitors alike. The building’s signature design element is an airy, elegant superstructure generously sh aded by a large canopy within a grove of oak trees.

The design is strongly connected to the site and context: the landscape and history of Spotts Park on the banks of Houston’s Buffalo Bayou. The intricate lattice of the sculptural roof canopy offers a sen se of shelter to both the organization and the local community, encouraging the use of outdoor terraces, maximizing use of daylight within the building, and minimizing solar gain.

Photo © Iwan Baan

Interior spaces are conceived within public and private zones and are highly flexible, linked to the park through a series of exterior terraces, shaded by the canopy. The design promotes healthy working and offers welcoming engagement spaces that provide zones for convening and collaborating with the community. The dynamic setting of the new h eadquarters allows the Houston Endowment unprecedented engagement with its many partners.

Building Construction
For the construction of the building, the architectural and engineering teams evaluated numerous systems, ultimately recommending the headquarters be constructed using a hybrid steel and cross-laminated timber (CLT) approach, offers exceptional strength while also enabling a reduced carbon footprint as a renewable resource, and steel framing provides both stability and flexibility.

Photo © Iwan Baan

The building’s intricate latticed canopy maximizes daylight in the building, while minimizing cooling requirements and energy consumption. Together, steel and mass timber achieve a highly efficient and visually appealing new headquarters.

Net-Zero Design
The 2030 Net Zero Challenge was set as the project’s primary sustainability objective, providing an achievable and forward-thinking framework and setting a goal of carbon neutrality by 2030 through prioritizing energy-efficient planning and design.

Photo © Iwan Baan

By including a geothermal well system, high-efficient rainscreen façade, and shade canopy, the carbon consumption of Houston Endowment headquarters will be reduced by 33%, as compared to a typical office building. The energy generation from the photovoltaic system will cover the balance of the required energy demand, therefore resulting in a “net zero” project.

A Home for Art
As a supporter of the vibrant arts community of Greater Houston, the Houston Endowment has purchased its permanent art collection with the new headquarters in mind, reflecting a bold vision to celebrate acclaimed local artists, lift up emerging artistic talent, and tell the stories of diverse people and communities in the region. Source by Kevin Daly Architects.

Photo © Iwan BaanLocation: Houston, Texas, USA

Architect: Kevin Daly Architects

Project Team: Kevin Daly, Principal, FAIA (kdA); Luke Smith, Project Manager (kdA); Gretchen Stoecker, Competition Coordinator and Project Architect (kdA); Phineas Taylor-Webb, Designer (kdA); Ryan Conroy, Designer (kdA); Casey Worrell, Designer (kdA); Kevin Ulmer, Evan Hursley, Robert Becker, Design Staff (kdA)

Collaborating Architect: PRODUCTORA


Structural Engineer: ARUP

Civil Engineer: BGE

Sustainability: Transsolar

Construction Manager: Forney Partnership

General Contractor: WS Bellows

Landscape Architect: Tom Leader Studio

Lighting Designer: George Sexton Associates

AV/IT: 4B Technology

Acoustics: Newson Brown

Waterproofing: CDC

Environmental Graphics: MG&Co

Client/Owner: Houston Endowment

Size: 31,718 square feet

Cost: $21 million

Construction Complete: September 2022

Photographs: Elizabeth Lawrence Knox, Iwan Baan, Courtesy of Kevin Daly Architects
Photo © Elizabeth Lawrence KnoxPhoto © Elizabeth Lawrence KnoxPhoto © Elizabeth Lawrence Knox

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