Overland Partners has collaborated with the Houston Botanic Garden to create a welcome area that seamlessly blends with the natural landscape of the feature gardens, while creating a dynamic and multisensory experience for guests.
The 2,334-square foot building will feature a gift shop and ticketing center, in addition to storage and restrooms. The building’s facade, or “Welcome Wall,” will be made up of coral limestone in differing patterns that feature a botanic motif. The building will offer indoor and outdoor patio seating so guests have the option of overlooking the Pine Grove and Edible Garden.
“It’s been a joy to work alongside the Houston Botanic Garden and West 8 on the vision for the Welcome Pavilion. It was very important to the team that the Welcome Pavilion not only provide the key guest services and amenities necessary for an entirely new garden, but also fit seamlessly into and reinforce the master plan developed by West 8. The design evolved from there, providing a welcoming visitor experience, acting as a backdrop to the gardens, and highlighting the landscape for guests to enjoy,” said Overland Partners Senior Architect Charles Schneider, AIA, LFA.
West 8, an award-winning landscape architecture firm based in New York, created the overall master plan and designed the Phase I experiences for the Houston Botanic Garden, while Overland Partners focused on the Welcome Pavilion.
“As Houston’s newest cultural institution, creating a strong first impression for our guests is very important. The Pavilion’s gorgeous Welcome Wall will draw visitors into our beautiful urban oasis. In addition, the Pavilion’s central location, climate-controlled interior, and generous overhead canopy outside will make it a natural meeting place for visitors to gather and share their garden experiences. I also believe the modest-yet-comfortable stone and wood building will help visually establish our intention to ensure the Garden is a lasting Houston treasure,” said Claudia Gee Vassar, the Garden’s president and general counsel.
Set to open in the fall of 2020, the Houston Botanic Garden will support the conservation of plant diversity from Houston and around the world, and inspire an appreciation of our precious natural world, creating an opportunity for people to connect with plants. When complete, it will draw visitors from near and far, and will serve as a cultural asset for the neighboring community.
Video rendering provided courtesy of West 8.