OMA is turning a historic Barbara Jordan Post Office in downtown Houston, Texas, into a complex featuring arts and music venue, workspaces and one of the world’s largest rooftop parks and farms. Balancing preservation with strategic, almost surgical interventions, OMA’s design engages the city at multipleclevels—from the Bayou and streetscape to the warehouse and its roof.
The warehouse will be punctured vertically with skylights and atriums and raked horizontally with new passages to establish distinct thoroughfares of connected activities. Three atriums excavated from the existing structural grid will bring light into the depth of the building.
Each atrium will be covered with an ETFE roof system (the first in Houston) and defined by unique monumental staircases linking the different layers of the building, culminating in an expansive 210,000 sf rooftop park and farm. Looking out to the city with a new view to Houston’s iconic downtown skyline, the design highlights the site’s history while simultaneously orienting the building towards an innovative future.
One of the many stand-out elements of POST Houston will be Skylawn, the expansive five-acre rooftop park and sustainable organic farm, designed by Hoerr Schaudt, the Chicago-based landscape architects behind Houston’s McGovern Centennial Park. As one of the world’s largest rooftop parks and farms, Skylawn features 360 degree, unobstructed views of the city’s downtown skyline and will include multiple dining and event venues, recreation and open spaces, as well as a stage for events. The property’s culinary tenants will be able to source ingredients from the rooftop farm, allowing them to offer a rooftop-to-table experience.
POST Houston is ideally situated in the city’s historic Theatre District. Not only will POST Houston celebrate Houston’s vibrant art scene from the performing arts to fine art, but the building will house installations and exhibits by local and internationally acclaimed artists and will feature events that bring the diverse community together.
In an effort to support the City of Houston’s Innovation Corridor, POST Houston will feature co-working offices, versatile retail stations and a collaborative maker’s space aimed to attract local entrepreneurs by providing opportunities to showcase their products and grow their businesses. Phase one of the mixed-use adaptive reuse project began in early September 2018 and is expected to complete in Summer 2020.