R. G. Miller Engineers, in collaboration with Asakura Robinson Architects, wins Urban Design award in “Complete the Community” competition
R.G. Miller Engineers was part of a winning team in the first-ever “Complete the Community: Housing and Urban Design Competition,” sponsored by the American Institute of Architects (AIA) Houston chapter and the City of Houston.
The firm collaborated with Asakura Robinson – a planning, urban design, and landscape architecture firm – in the urban design category of the competition. Its winning entry, “Bridging the Future,” focused on a strategy of tactical urbanism for a single intersection and its surrounding area in Gulfton’s “Green Triangle” between U.S. 59, Hillcroft and Bellaire, aiming to serve as a catalyst for ecological and social activity as well as promote safety and accessibility.
Michael Bloom, P.E., Sustainable Practice Manager for R. G. Miller Engineers, participated with a team of seven designers from Asakura Robinson, including Wei Xiao, Abigail Phillips, Yun Zou, Will Wang, Abhilasha Bisht, Andy Rowel, and Inmi Moon.
The Urban Design competition solicited conceptual design entries to enhance the streetscape of a particular area of Gulfton, one of five pilot neighborhoods designated by Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner as “Complete Communities.” The Housing Design competition call for resilient single-family home designs for each of the five neighborhoods including Acres Homes, Near Northside, Second Ward, Third Ward and Gulfton.
The six winning designs were announced at City Council on August 22 by Council Member David W. Robinson, FAIA, eliciting praise from the mayor and members of City Council.
“Like Mayor Turner has said, it’s not enough to build back after Harvey – we must build forward,” said Council Member Robinson. “This competition demonstrates the passionate response by the architecture community to elevate the standards of design in Houston’s diverse neighborhoods.”
The competition jury was composed of four stakeholders from the Complete Communities, along with award-winning architect Val Glitsch, FAIA, and home builder David Gordon of Whitestone builders.
Awards in the housing competition went to: Nicolas Cascaro, AIA, winning in the Design category for his “4×4 All Terrain” home concept; Prairie View A&M University School of Architecture Race to Zero Design Team, winning in the Building Community through Architecture category for their design of “The Fly Flat,” a pocket community featuring three living units, a community center and communal green space; Brian Burnett, AIA, and Jonathan West, winning in the Cultural Context category for “Northside Symbiosis,” a compact single-family home; Danny Rigg, AIA, of RIGG Studio LLC, winning in the Architectural Context category for his design of a single-family, one-story home including a covered front porch, pier and beam foundation, and wheelchair-accessible ramps; and Travis Hicks, AIA, Morgana D’avila, and Henry Quillin, also winning in the Architectural Context category for their “EVOLVE House,” incorporating built-in expansion potential with minimal cost to adapt to needs of its occupants.
“Bridging the Future” will be presented to the City of Houston’s Planning and Development Department and Houston Public Works for future discussion on implementation. The winning housing designs will be presented to the city’s Houston and Community Development Department to explore options for development and implementation.
All six designs will be exhibited at “Houston 2020 Visions,” a collaboration between Council Member Robinson and AIA Houston that will run from August 2018 – August 2019 and culminate in an exhibit at the new Architecture Center Houston office in the spring of 2020.