TMC3 Innovation Masterplan

Project Location: Houston, Texas

Client: Texas Medical Center

Architect: Elkus Manfredi

Houston’s Texas Medical Center is the largest medical complex in the world. This new translational research campus envisioned south of Brays Bayou will be a new paradigm for resiliency and sustainability in Houston. As flooding of the concretized bayou is one of the site’s most significant threats, the owners have embraced a holistic approach to reducing damage from major storm events. In addition, significant investment in the public realm will create a place that welcomes all Houstonians to enjoy a mixed-use urban district organized around a green necklace inspired by the double helix of DNA. The all-encompassing strategy involves building sustainably and elevating the entire 37-acre site, increasing its capacity to absorb water.

Previously surface parking lots, the site lies within the 500-year floodplain. The project will raise the ground plane of the site’s interior — from the finished first floors of each building to the helix gardens — by as much as 8 feet. Supported by a 3.4-million-gallon subterranean cistern, the 11.5 acres of MYKD designed open space, with over 400 new trees, will absorb approximately 2.3 million gallons of rainwater, storing and filtering it for reuse and release in a highly controlled protocol. The helix gardens extend the area’s green network into the site, modulating thermal comfort throughout. Ground floor activity from restaurants, shops, and the Collaborative Building’s central atrium will spill out into the helix garden and the surrounding “Complete Streets,” knitting together this new community.