In the foreground, a vast lawn adorned with vibrant yellow wildflowers stretches out, with several small garden and shade structures visible in the distance.

Houston Botanic Garden

Integrating natural beauty

Project Facts

Location Houston, Texas
Owner Houston Botanic Garden
Size 5,750,000 SF
Cost $100 million
Status Completed 2020


Crafting a harmonious blend of nature and innovation, our team spearheaded the preservation efforts and engineering projects at the Houston Botanic Garden. Situated along Sims Bayou, our vision seamlessly integrated existing natural features while addressing flooding concerns, setting the stage for a transformative urban oasis.

In the foreground, a serene pond adorned with lily pads and various water plants is bordered by a short concrete barrier. Artful outdoor concrete seating stools and large rocks seamlessly blend with the native tropical foliage, creating a tranquil oasis.

A gracefully curved and paved pedestrian walkway, flanked by concrete benches, meanders through two meticulously arranged gardens adorned with shrubs, vibrant native plants, and trees.

An expansive native Houston garden showcases a diverse array of flora, blending tropical and desert plants suited to the mixed climate region. Date palms and agaves are interspersed among sand and gravel, complemented by a lush lawn and distant oak trees. Meandering walking paths wind through the picturesque landscape.

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About the project

Situated along Sims Bayou at the former Glenbrook Park Golf Course, the master plan for the Houston Botanic Garden integrated existing natural features into the design while incorporating elements to address potential flooding concerns. We were involved in the initial site review and contributed to creating and implementing the vision, which included a visitor center, an iconic vehicular and pedestrian bridge spanning the bayou, hike and bike trails, an open lawn for community events, and an education area. The implementation of this master plan will unfold in phases.

In Phase I of the project, our team oversaw the development of essential facilities and infrastructure to support both early and future operations. Additionally, we designed the initial collection gardens, planned vehicular and pedestrian entry and exit points to Park Place Blvd, Interstate Highway 45, and residential streets, explored options for reshaping Sims Bayou, determined building siting, and laid out roadway and parking lot configurations. 

Houston Botanical Gardens Highlight Reel

Project Features

We also provided bridge design, floodplain mitigation, a wetland area that allows for water level control to stimulate vegetative growth, and a children’s lagoon in the south garden. Safety for young users of the children’s lagoon is a primary design focus. Most of the specimen trees on the former golf course were preserved for the garden development with improvements that minimize impact to the trees. Parking lots with decomposed granite provide a more natural look for the garden and also help improve stormwater quality through gravel filtration. As part of the site review, five pedestrian bridges were evaluated for structural integrity and improvements were recommended to extend the existing bridge life span.

Vibrant flowers take the spotlight in the foreground, while tall, bushy shrubs and a single-story building provide a picturesque backdrop.


2022 ACEC Texas Engineering Excellence: Gold Award, Special Projects

2022 ULI Houston Development Of Distinction Award - Open Space

2022 AGC Houston APEX Gold Award