public - institutional projects
Exploration Park – Katy, Texas
Neighborhood kids would spend all day at Exploration Park if they could — and they’re learning valuable lessons about natural sciences while they play. It’s whimsical and immersive, prompting return visits for families, and the entire playground concept is based on water, with hands-on learning opportunities for park patrons of all ages. Features like a giant berm in the shape of water ripples, a xylophone bridge, an interactive water wall depicting the rain cycle and other features make learning fun — and interpretive signage presents key concepts in a lucid manner to aid comprehension.
Client: Willow Fork Drainage District
Texas Health Frisco – Frisco, Texas
A community health facility that helps facilitate well-being by empowering community members to take an active role in their health and wellness. The new Texas Health Frisco campus is designed to create a sense of community within its grounds as well as connectivity and engagement with the surrounding city through a thoughtful arrangement of facilities, site circulation and landscape structure. Through the site plan, architecture and landscape design, visitors and staff can enjoy a variety of indoor and outdoor spaces as day-to-day amenities while, at the same time, connecting community through event programming. The campus design also prioritizes environmental sensitivity with focuses on low energy use, efficient site orientation, water reclamation, and a landscape defined by native plants with minimal maintenance needs.
Client: HKS Architects
Dell Children’s Medical Center of Central Texas – Austin, Texas
Anything but sterile and boring, time spent at Dell Children’s is full of whimsical play and immersive environments — and they’re integral to the therapeutic process. A pioneering healthcare facility, Dell Children’s prioritizes the restorative powers of nature and unstructured play to aid recovery and well-being. Its sustainable approaches also set new standards for healthcare design; it was the world’s first LEED Platinum healthcare facility. The outdoor healing garden serves as the hospital’s backyard and includes a labyrinth, human sundial, ponds and a butterfly garden amid bright colors and textural variety. A multi-level courtyard depicts the six ecoregions found in the hospital’s 46-county service area, with characteristic native plants articulating a regional story. The facility’s remarkable impact spurred expansion and the development of a third bed tower that was completed summer 2013, as well as more recent enhancements.
Riverstone Wetland Park – Sugar Land, Texas
A celebration of simpler times and the land’s natural heritage, Riverstone’s wetland park connects kids to nature in a way that inspires simple play — and getting a little dirty. Created from a parcel of flat land in partnership with a biologist, the wetland park is a rich ecosystem full of thriving aquatic plants, bald cypress domes, interactive features, and animals like egrets, fish and frogs. Engaging elements like a mud pie kitchen, targets in ponds to inspire skipping stones, pathways of partially submerged rocks, meandering trails, and interpretive signage — including pillars with pull-out drawers featuring an integrated magnifying glass for closer examination — promote learning through play. This atypical park destination speaks to the authenticity of the place while fulfilling requirements to replace wetlands lost to development.
Client: Johnson Development Corporation
Town Lake Park – Austin, Texas
One of Austin’s most prominent and well-used urban parks, Town Lake Park is a multifaceted destination along the southern shores of Town Lake south of downtown Austin. TBG began working on a park master plan in the late 1990s and has been implementing individual projects over a four-phase implementation sequence ever since. These efforts have included facilitating numerous public charrettes attended by a wide variety of stakeholders to develop a community-oriented destination park. Prominent features include an iconic spiral hill with panoramic skyline views, a popular fountain and sprayground with choreographed jets, a major trailhead for the 10-mile Butler Trail, and the final project, the Alliance Children’s Garden, which is a whimsical destination inspired by Austin’s history.
WFDD Parks & Trails Master Plan & Implementation – Fort Bend County, Texas
In west Houston, the public realm and overall connectivity have received significant enhancements through thoughtful design and community engagement. Working with the 5,718-acre Willow Fork Drainage District (WFDD), TBG helped community members understand their open space opportunities through stakeholder meetings, showcasing recreational opportunities available through a bond package approved by the district. Based on that community input, TBG developed a plan that included four parks, including a community park with an amphitheater; a large passive park with a trail, lake and educational components; a third park with sports fields; and a linear park along existing draining channels. By partnering with local schools, the team was able to use public funds to provide neighborhood parks available for community use that also improve the school grounds. The partnership with WFDD is ongoing and spans macro efforts like parks and trails master plans to micro level individual parks and trails projects.
Burleson Old Town Plaza – Burleson, Texas
As a prominent stop on the historic interurban railway system connecting north Texas communities, Burleson was a key node on a regional trolley car system that was years ahead of its time — and contemporary urban renewal efforts celebrate that legacy through contextual placemaking. The City is converting the area fronting Burleson City Hall — currently surface parking lots — into a multipurpose civic plaza envisioned as the community’s living room. The design integrates historic elements including a train depot and two trolley cars from the early 20th century into a new civic space able to accommodate community-wide events as well as informal daily activity. The reimagined Mayor Vera Calvin Plaza celebrates Burleson’s historical legacy and provides an inviting civic hub for the community.
The Skinny & Calhound Dog Park – Fort Worth, Texas
These two intimate urban parks respond to Fort Worth’s need for more gathering areas in dense urban settings — and are helping support the Near Southside district’s ongoing renewal. Both parks, less than an acre in size, were influenced by public input meetings and their design elements and materiality reflect the neighborhood’s industrial aesthetic. One provides an off-leash dog park with seating, shade pavilions and lawn space, while the other supports a flexible program, featuring an accessible boardwalk with integrated pavilions and seating, multipurpose lawn, environmental graphics, and limestone quarry blocks to define spaces and provide extra seating, as well as adjacent alley improvements.