2015 Honor Award
Hermann Park Conservancy
Hermann Park is a 445-acre public park located in Houston’s Museum District, close to Rice University and Texas Medical Center. Several years ago, fifteen acres of Hermann Park were re-dedicated on its 100th anniversary. The fifteen acres would be known as McGovern Centennial Gardens and were envisioned to be the City’s central resource for garden education and enjoyment.
Hoerr Schaudt designed McGovern Centennial Gardens as a series of experiences that suit a wide variety of audiences—from the family on a casual weekend visit to the expert gardener attending classes hosted by local garden clubs. It was created as a pleasure garden for the people of Houston, rather than a formal botanic garden, yet it is still very horticulturally diverse.
The entrance promenade leads to a pavilion designed by architect Peter Bohlin and provides a defined entry into the gardens. Once inside the gardens, one of the main features is a central lawn with a long view to a 30-foot-high garden mount with a cascading waterfall. Visitors can walk the spiral path to the top of the mount to view the entire garden. Multiple gardens surround the central lawn and mount, allowing visitors to stroll through a pine hill walk and woodland garden; relax in a rose garden; explore an arid garden; host or attend events in the celebration garden; and learn with children in the family garden.
New entrances improve connections between McGovern Centennial Gardens and Hermann Park facilities, including Miller Theater; cultural institutions such as the Children’s Museum, the Health Museum, and the Museum of Fine Arts; and adjacent residential areas. This level of community connectivity furthers the Gardens’ design mission to become a destination for everyone in Houston to enjoy.
Project Team: White Oak Studio (Local Landscape Architect); Bohlin Cywinski Jackson; Dr. William Welch, Horticulture Consultant; Greenscape Pump Services, Inc.; Haynes Whaley Associates, Inc.; Infrastructure Associates, Inc.; Tellepsen