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Green Mosaic: Botanical Garden for Houston

Dutch landscape firm West 8 has recently planned a new botanical garden in Houston, Texas, featuring a mosaic of gardens and a bridge incorporating an arch of trees.

The Houston Botanic Garden will be on an area of  49 hectares, which is bordered by the Sims Bayou, a major waterway in Houston. West 8’s Master Plan takes its inspiration and structure from the existing site and gives forethought to the biggest environmental challenges: flooding and intense weather event. The design proposes lifting the existing topography to elevate the gardens and permanent structures out of the flood plain. With the water bodies as site-organizers, the Garden is divided into two main precincts: the “Island” and the “South Gardens”.

The “South Gardens” is the place of arrival for all visitors. It features an open lawn, which is a relaxing, day-to-day place for picnics and strolling, but also supports community events. A hike/bike trail extends along Glenview Drive, with a proposed section along Sims Bayou that would connect the Garden to the extensive network of Greater Houston hike and bike trails.  The Island will be dominated by gardens, both naturalistic and cultivated. These gardens provide year-round beauty, delight the senses, and educate young and old alike. A conservatory building extends the plant repertoire to provide a setting for exotic plants from tropical climates. Visitor-oriented amenities like educational facilities, an events pavilion, a café, and a lecture hall, are strategically located to provide destinations and provisions for guests. Construction of the first phase is slated to begin in 2018.

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