A Master Plan for Re-Establishing Houston’s Grand Boulevard White Oak Studio worked with the Montrose Boulevard Conservancy, a grass-roots community group, to develop a conceptual vision for the 2.7 miles long Montrose Boulevard corridor, extending from Buffalo Bayou to Hermann Park and Rice University. The vision addressed analysis and documentation of existing conditions, a comprehensive pedestrian circulation system, streetscape beautification and stewardship – long-term sustainability of the public streetscape. White Oak Studio facilitated workshops involving key stakeholders in development of parameters and goals for the Master Plan.
Phase 1 of a comprehensive plan for the renovation of downtown Lake Jackson is currently under construction. In collaboration with KBR the project engineers, White Oak Studio is revitalizing the historic downtown in this city of 30,000. Improvements include new utilities, storm drainage, roadways, street-parking, pedestrian walks and gathering spaces, enlivened by lighting and street furnishings. A primary design objective of the project is to enhance the pedestrian environment, including reducing the width of downtown streets and the scale of intersections. Urban design highlights the Mid-Century Modern heritage of the city’s beginnings, shaped by Frank Lloyd Wright protégé Alden Dow.
White Oak Studio created the preliminary design for the Grand Gateway to Hermann Park. The historic entrance to Hermann Park is anchored at each end by important Houston landmarks: the Sam Houston statue and the Mecom Fountain. The Grand Gateway project incorporates an illuminated pedestrian promenade under stately live oaks on both sides of the boulevard and sunken flower gardens reminiscent of a historic 1920’s park feature. The project creates a celebratory landscape appropriate to the prominent location and a special foreground for the viewing of each of these Houston civic treasures.
The Upper Kirby District retained White Oak Studio to design the streetscape for 1/3 mile of Buffalo Speedway between Highway 59 and Bissonnet Street as part of a utility and infrastructure replacement project. The project posed significant challenges: The fast-track schedule brought the landscape architect into the project after engineers were 70 percent complete. The addition of traffic lanes resulted in a constrained pedestrian zone, congested with surface and underground utilities. White Oak Studio devised custom tree-planting solutions to ensure room for pedestrians and trees in limited right-of-way space and designed a prototype bus shelter to be used throughout the Upper Kirby District.