Four firms go forward in competition for $20m charity headquarters

The four shortlisted bid teams in the Houston Endowment headquarters competition

The four shortlisted bid teams in the Houston Endowment headquarters competition

An international design competition to create a new headquarters for the Houston Endowment organisation has whittled down more than 120 expressions of interest to four bid teams.

The endowment, which funds community-cohesion projects in Texas’ most populous city, appointed Malcolm Reading Consultants to find it an architect for a new 3,700sq m base with a construction budget of $20m – or £16.4m at today’s exchange rates.

Malcolm Reading said the four shortlisted teams were: Deborah Berke Partners with David Rubin Land Collective and Atelier Ten; Kevin Daly Architects with TLS Landscape Architecture, Productora and Transsolar; Olson Kundig with Surfacedesign Inc; and Schaum/Shieh Architects with HKS and Andrea Cochran Landscape Architecture.

Houston Endowment

Source: Forney Construction

The site for Houston Endowment’s new headquarters

Although the competition was international in scope, all shortlisted teams are required to work with a Texas-registered practice for the second stage.

The finalists are due to visit the development site, next to Spotts Park near downtown Houston, later this month and receive a detailed briefing. They will then have 10 weeks to create a concept design before the selection committee meets to interview them.

Competition director Malcolm Reading said June’s call for entries had resulted in an “outstanding response”, from which the final four teams had demonstrated the strongest mix of skills, know-how and understanding of the project’s ambitions.

“The client is determined that design excellence will bring multiple benefits to the organisation’s work and reach,” he said.

“The city’s pedigree in outstanding modern buildings is a tough benchmark, but we expect these teams to come up with something inspirational.”

The competition winner is expected to be announced in November.

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