Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Houston, Texas; Civic Pride; Futuristic Architecture; and Admiral Horatio Nelson

"Houston's Trafalgar Square? Big name architects vie to design futuristic METRO Central Station"
Tyler Rudick, Rate Them Yourself, CultureMap Houston (January 27, 2012)

"Houston METRO and the Downtown District revealed the finalists in a design competition for Central Station — a new light rail transfer hub that will be built on Main between Capitol and Rusk at the intersection of the upcoming East End and Southeast lines.

"Two stops originally planned for the 600 and 800 blocks of Main were consolidated to create Central Station, which will sit at the center of a busy new transfer area at the heart of METRO's light rail system. For such a prominent location, architects plan to give the new station a landmark treatment.

"A panel of Houston leaders including deans Patricia Oliver and Sarah Whiting of the University of Houston and Rice University architecture schools, respectively, pared down a list of nearly 70 internationally-recognized firms to five high-profile candidates...."

There's a slide show with the article that shows the five proposals. One of them, Denari Architects', is a fairly bright shade of red. That one would definitely stand out. The others aren't quite so colorful: either the finished product is intended to be a sort of pale gray/white, or that's the way architects' renderings are done these days.

(SHoP Architects, via CultureMap Houston, used w/o permission)
This, in the Lemming's opinion, is the most emphatically "futuristic" of the lot. Looks pretty cool, and might be practical.

A list of the five entrants:

What's With "Trafalgar Square?"

That reference to Trafalgar Square gets explained about two thirds of the way through the article:

"...'Central Station will be the centerpiece of an area where people in the city collect,' he said, referencing London's Trafalgar Square and New York's Washington Square Park. 'Areas like this are often marked with an architectural element, something that celebrates the space.'..."

They could just as well have used Union Station (Washington D.C.), Union Station (Kansas City), or Union Station (Chicago), as a comparison. "Trafalgar Square" is a tad more distinctive, though, and doesn't take any more syllables to say: although it's three letters longer.

"Trafalgar Square" in the headline had the Lemming wondering if Houston planned to put a whacking great column with the statue of some admiral on top, and that's almost another topic.

Sort-of-related posts:


Brigid said...

I'm pretty sure there's an extra 's' in here: "Denari Architects's, is a fairly"

The Friendly Neighborhood Proofreader

Brian Gill said...


Too right. Fixed, and thanks!

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