Texas Medical Center Helix Park

Project Location: Houston, Texas

Client: Texas Medical Center

The Texas Medical Center Helix Park in Houston is a series of six parks connected by a DNA-inspired double helix design, creating linked but distinct public spaces. The park totals more than 37 acres and through various public spaces and retail locations can accommodate diverse events and activities. To create a comfortable and aesthetic gathering area, the parks are shaded by over 650 trees of varied species and cooled by heat-reflecting pathways. Helix Park sits on a floodplain along Brays Bayou and thus faces flooding risks.

To mitigate these risks, the site has been elevated 5 feet above the floodplain. Permeable paths and waterways allow stormwater drainage, lowering flood risks during rainy seasons. These practical flood control methods have been seamlessly integrated into the park’s design, transforming utilitarian waterways into unique features for relaxation that provide a natural cooling effect. Resilience through water management is central to the design of Helix Park, with waterways woven into the park’s program.

Photography by Rob Benson and Luis Ayala