GSD and University of Colorado team wins first prize in ULI/Gerald Hines Urban Design Competition

A joint team representing the GSD and University of Colorado won first prize in the ULI/Gerald Hines Urban Design Competition for their proposal, “Bayou Commons.” The master plan was strategically designed to be downtown Houston’s first residential district celebrating cultural diversity and urban lifestyle.
The team consisted of three students from Harvard University (Michael Albert, Master of Landscape Architecture; Anna Cawrse, Master of Landscape Architecture; and Victor Perez Amado, Master of Architecture I AP + Master of Architecture in Urban Design) and two students from the University of Colorado (Chad Murphy, MBA Real Estate and Alex Atherton, MBA Real Estate).
More than 695 students across 139 teams from 64 universities in the U.S. and Canada participated in this year’s ideas competition, which addressed Houston’s desire to connect downtown redevelopment to incorporate connections to the city’s neighborhoods. While addressing flooding concerns, their design created livable downtown spaces with an understanding of historic architecture. The collaborative team successfully developed a feasible and sensitive scheme for the best use of approximately 16.3 acres owned by the United States Postal Service (USPS) and their proposal won first prize after an unanimous vote. Renamed from its original “Downtown Bayou,” the project has been released on ULI’s website as well as Houston Culture Map and others.