No. 432 . 17 June 2009 
ArchitectureWeek
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American Landscape Awards 2009

by ArchitectureWeek

Buffalo Bayou flows through downtown Houston, Texas, under a tangle of freeways and bridges on its way to Galveston Bay and the Gulf of Mexico. Landscape architects SWA Group reenvisioned a neglected 1.2-mile (1.9-kilometer) length of bayou front, transforming it into pedestrian-friendly parkland with improved floodwater conveyance.

Their thoughtful approach to the Buffalo Bayou Promenade earned the top general design award from the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) in its 2009 Professional Awards. The award recipients included a wide variety of public parks, private gardens, master plans, and communications projects from the United States and around the world.

Houston Bayou Promenade

SWA Group faced many challenges in creating a more usable public green link between Houston's downtown and the pastoral park to the west. Located well below grade, and poorly connected to the surrounding streets at the outset of the project, the 23-acre (nine-hectare) site weaves through a series of freeway structures, which block sunlight and shed sheets of water during rainstorms. Deposition of silt and trash is constant and erosion severe along this waterway that drains much of Houston.   >>>

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