Buffalo Bayou Promenade

Plant materials. as well as light fixtures and signage. . which significantly improved the area’s wildlife habitat. • Stone-filled gabions were placed along the water’s edge as an ecologically friendly way to control bank erosion. • The planting design also involved removing invasive monocultures and installing a large variety of native.• Buffalo Bayou Promenade is a 23-acre recreation area that has transformed an impenetrable urban wasteland into a thriving urban waterfront. • This inner-city parkland provides a critical pedestrian and bicycle link. and frequent stairway connections from the bayou to the city streets above. a pedestrian bridge that allows citizens to make a complete loop without traversing city streets. artistic safety lighting that mirrors the lunar cycle. flood-resistant riparian vegetation and trees. were specially chosen to thrive in the midst of periodic flooding conditions along the bayou.


The landscape architect's early visioning and then implementation converted a trashsoaked eyesore — intimidating to pedestrians and detrimental to flood control efforts — into 3.000 linear feet of urban park that provides a prominent gateway to downtown Houston. adding 23 acres of parkland to Houston's inner city.Site plan • Project Statement • The Buffalo Bayou Promenade connected Houston's downtown core to the river park to the west under and through a neglected and near impossible mess of freeways and bridges. .

. walls. cost effectiveness. Recycled concrete cobble-lined swales were placed to absorb the destructive. urban infrastructure with the bayou's sinuous forms.• The landscape architect balanced the stark. and galvanized steel were all employed for their durability. A robust vocabulary of galvanized steel railings and other metal objects was conceived to acknowledge the gritty urban context and to withstand tough environmental conditions. walks and signage so that they would be able to withstand degradation due to potential erosion and water borne debris. Special attention was paid to the design of railings. recycled crushed concrete. high volume flows of water pouring from the surface of the freeways. Exposed concrete. and contextual relevance.

thereby ensuring a reliable system of illumination within the park even when one lamp was burned out. . along the trail and to give a clear indication of where path would lead through the maze of heavy infrastructure. Dual light fixtures were incorporated into each lamp to offer a level of redundancy. The landscape architect conceived of three orders of lighting to illuminate the park: • 1) a primary trail lighting system. 2) a system of lights to wash the 'dark nooks and crannies' and 3) an art-driven lighting component.• The success of the park was in large part to be measured by its ability to function as a safe pedestrian environment at night. • The primary trail lighting poles were placed at a relatively close spacing to offer pedestrians a strong visual rhythm. submersible lamps and concrete poles. these lights were custom designed to withstand periodic submersion and potential vandalism associated with such a site. Utilizing custom cast housings. a necklace of pearls.

the birthplace of Houston. with very directed use of illumination. . This makes the trail environment feel safe. the third order of lights offers a celebration of the balance between nature and urbanity where an artist and lighting consultant imagined a connection between the ebb and flow of the bayou with the waxing and waning of the bayou. Carefully located floodlights under major bridge structures and LED's on top of each light fixture gradually change from blue to white to blue in accordance with the lunar cycle and in a pattern that radiates from Allen's Landing. • Lastly.• The second order of lights carefully illuminates the dark urban corners under bridges and behind walls to alleviate safety concerns. if you light the places that feel dangerous and where someone might be lurking you don't need to wash the whole site with light.

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