OMA moves ahead with houston post office transformation into multipurpose cultural center

OMA moves ahead with houston post office transformation into multipurpose cultural center

post houston by oma nears completion 

 

in 2019, OMA announced plans to turn a historic post office warehouse in texas into a mixed-use cultural anchor (see previous coverage here). as of november 2021, the much-anticipated project has reached significant completion of its first phase, opening its doors to approximately 40,000 visitors and inviting them to explore the newly unveiled facilities. OMA moves ahead with houston post office transformation into multipurpose cultural center

all images courtesy of leonid furmansky, unless stated otherwise

 

 

mixed-use cultural atriums unveiled 

 

designed by jason long and OMA new york (find more here), ‘POST houston’ is shaped as an active and adjustable collection of programs that grow along with the city. the first phase of the project addresses the facilities’ successful re-use with meticulous interventions aiming to integrate the 16-acre (64,750 sqm) site into the fabric of the downtown.

 

in this first phase, three atriums (X, O, and Z) and the rooftop park were revealed, and the complex welcomed 40,000 guests from the local community to a festival of activations in and around the 500,000 sqf (46,451 sqm) building. during the opening event, visitors could find a car show and tailgating in the parking lots, a business expo and book launch in the Z atrium, a bustling market in the O atrium, a late-night rave and aerial performances in the X atrium, multiple art installations and concerts in to-be-occupied territories and the loading dock, as well as yoga and film screenings on the rooftop skylawn.

OMA moves ahead with houston post office transformation into multipurpose cultural center

 

 

oma introduces distinct staircases to encourage interaction

 

OMA carved three horizontal voids through the existing structure, bringing light in and dividing the building into three levels: a commercial ground plane, a second level of expansive offices, and a 6-acre (24,281 sqm) rooftop park above. the three bands establish zones for cultural and retail, food market, and collaborative workspace programs.

 

each one of the three atriums features a monumental staircase that leads visitors up to the roofscape, where they can enjoy unobstructed views of the urban surroundings. designed to encourage interaction, the stairs are distinct in character, structure, and material. their paths are doubled, intertwined, and expanded to provide not just access up to the roof but places for accidental encounters.

OMA moves ahead with houston post office transformation into multipurpose cultural center

 

 

expansive food hall brings guests closer together

 

in the Ο atrium, a large food hall invites people to the center of the building, further accentuating the project’s intention to bring guests closer together. an arrangement of stainless-steel elements —seating, counters, kitchens, and a floating mesh halo— compose a family of kiosks mirroring the diversity of houston’s food scene. clusters of both small and large vendor kiosks provide a wide range of options regarding food prep and dining as well. together, they enable multiple social configurations, from anonymous to engaging, dinner-for-one to feast-for-fifty.

 

at the center of the grid of kiosks, two stairs meet to connect the market hall to the POST houston rooftop. here, the low-rise warehouse gives way to an uninterrupted view of the downtown skyline. the expansive roofscape provides room for two additional restaurants and a ‘texas-sized’ urban farm, generating 170,000 sqf (15,793 sqm) of additional public space including new performance zones, shaded gardens, and recreation areas. overall, the building is as much a gateway as a destination. it is a link to a new public space within the city and dramatic view out over its juxtapositions—of iinfrastructure, business ambition, and natural vitality.

OMA moves ahead with houston post office transformation into multipurpose cultural center

OMA moves ahead with houston post office transformation into multipurpose cultural center

OMA moves ahead with houston post office transformation into multipurpose cultural center

oma-houston-post-office-transformation-cultural-center-designboom-full

 

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OMA moves ahead with houston post office transformation into multipurpose cultural center
 
image courtesy of scott shigley
image courtesy of scott shigley
image courtesy of scott shigley
image courtesy of scott shigley
image courtesy of scott shigley
image courtesy of scott shigley
image courtesy of scott shigley
image courtesy of scott shigley
image courtesy of scott shigley
image courtesy of scott shigley
image courtesy of scott shigley
image courtesy of scott shigley
image courtesy of scott shigley
image courtesy of scott shigley
image courtesy of scott shigley
image courtesy of scott shigley
image courtesy of scott shigley
image courtesy of scott shigley

project info:

 

 

name: POST houston
project: transformation of former post office warehouse facility into a new mixed-use building
client: lovett commercial
site: 16-acre site in downtown houston, texas, USA

 

lead design architect: OMA new york
partner-in-charge: jason long
project architects: salome nikuradze, yusef ali dennis
team: daniel kendra, chris yoon, laylee salek, wesley leforce, ekaterina nuzhdina, simina marin, vincent parlatore, vincenzo damato

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