The Memorial Park Conservancy, in collaboration with Houston Parks and Recreation Department and Uptown-Houston, led the ambitious effort to restore and revitalize Memorial Park through a long-range master planning effort. These once lush, green-forested acres were damaged by Hurricane Ike, and most recently a scorching drought. Trees and native plants currently compete for water with non-native invasive species. Noise from the surrounding freeways challenges the Park’s ecological health. With increasing park use in the face of declining budgets for park maintenance, amenities ranging from trails to picnic tables have worn down. Memorial Park is challenged with basic infrastructural issues such as storm drainage problems and the resulting erosion, as well as lack of adequate access to water.
The design team embarked on extensive research, collaborating with local stakeholders and regional experts to generate solutions and strategies to guide the cultural and ecological revitalization of Memorial Park and to ensure its long-term health and resilience. To the design team, one goal was paramount: respecting the logic of the land, and ensuring that Memorial Park can continue to function as one of Houston’s most prized recreational and environmental assets. One of the biggest challenges in this process was incorporating the many disparate parts of the park’s program while supporting the overall ecology of the park. Through research and collaboration, the team placed ecological resilience at the heart of the design for a healthy and sustainable park.
Collaborators: Sherwood Design Engineers, Berg Oliver Environmental, ETM Associates, Lord Cultural Resources, DPWPR, Hunt Design, Jacob & Associates, Walter P Moore, Suzanne Turner Associates, Advanced Ecology, The Lighting Practice, Core Design Studio, Fazio Design, Lupher LLC, MIR, Hartness Vision, Camera Wings