Houston Botanic Garden – Phase 1

Houston, Texas, USA

Conceived over twenty years ago by a small constituency of local Houstonians, an island in the city’s expansive Bayou system has been expertly cultivated and re-imagined as Houston’s first botanic garden.

The first phase of what will ultimately be a 132 acre design, The Houston Botanic Garden has transformed the island, and the adjacent south gardens on the opposite side of the Sims Channel, into an oasis of learning, discovery and horticultural beauty. Outdoor gallery spaces display a collection of tropical, sub-tropical, and arid plants from around the world to showcase the biodiversity that thrives along the Texas Gulf Coast.

The intent of the site design is to seek balance in all aspects, from planting and soils, through topography and materials—the careful juxtaposition of order and chaos that is at the heart of enduring gardens. West 8’s Master Plan for Houston Botanic Garden amplifies the potential of the site’s qualities, setting the framework to support the future of the “only-in-Houston” garden experience.

This phase includes the completion of the Playground Lagoon, Global Garden, Alcoves, Welcome Pavilion boulevard and the Edible Garden (opened in April 2021).

Design and Construction team:

• West 8: Prime Consultant, Masterplan Vision & Landscape Architect.
• Clark Condon Associates Inc. – Role: Landscape Architects, Planting & Soil Design
• Overland Partners – Role: Architects – Welcome Pavilion
• Walter P. Moore Engineers – Role: Civil, Structural, and Bridge Engineering
• I.A. Naman + Associates Inc. – Role: Electrical Engineering MEP Engineering
• Sweeney & Associates Inc. – Role: Irrigation Design
• Dykema Architects Inc. Role: Architects – Lagoon Pavilion
• Greenscape Pump Services Inc. – Role: Water Feature Engineering
• Minor Design, Role: Signage and Wayfinding
• Berg-Oliver Associates, Inc. Role: Environmental Services & Land Use Consultation
• SiteWorks – Specification Preparation
• Site Masters Play Code – Play Code Consultation
• Prairie Consultation – Wildlife Habitat Federation
• Pond Aquatic Consultation – Lake Management Inc
• Harvey-Cleary Builders – General Contractor
• Landscape Art Inc. – Landscape Sub-Contractor
• B&D Contractors Inc. – Landscape Sub-Contractor
• Renfrow Metalwork – Metal fabrication
• Camarata Masonry – Masonry


Photography: © Barrett Doherty and West 8
Video footage provided by Houston Botanic Garden and VISION Production Group


Houston Botanic Garden


Architects Newspaper’s Best of Design Awards Editor’s Pick, US | Landscape | Houston Botanic Garden, US, Golden Trowel Award, US | Hardscape and Landscape | Houston Botanic Garden, US