White Oak Studio designed a half-mile extension to the 1.2-mile long miniature train track that has been exciting area children for more than fifty years. Included in the design was the addition of three train platforms that enhanced the connection to local neighborhoods, museums, area transit, and local work centers as well as key sites within the park. Each station incorporates unique elements and landscaping reflecting its specific location within the park.
The Greenway Trail provides a vital pedestrian link through the Hermann Park Golf Course, connecting the zoo, train station and other central park attractions with MacGregor Drive, Bayou Parkland and neighborhoods south of the park. The Greenway winds along a wooded ravine, with rustic steel bridges providing attractive vantage points. White Oak Studio designed innovative steel arbors to ensure safe pedestrian passage through the golf course.
White Oak Studio was the prime consultant and landscape architect for this neighborhood park that occupies an important intersection at the heart of West University Place. The park was developed to provide passive gathering space with limited active play for small children. The brick clock tower at the street intersection has become an important community landmark. Native Texas plants surround the walks providing shade and interest as well as habitat for local birds. Friends Park received local design awards.
Renovation transformed this into the flagship park for the small city of West University Place. The park incorporates a variety of recreation components: picnic shelter, walking path and open lawn that are in use year-round. White Oak Studio designed custom, themed features to add unique character to the playground.
McGovern Centennial Gardens is a new public garden in the heart of Hermann Park. The public-private project is the culmination of Hermann Park Conservancy’s 20-year redevelopment, following the 1995 park master plan, and it reinvents the Houston Garden Center, an integral part of the park since the 1920’s. White Oak Studio led a multi-disciplinary team for this complex public space. Hoerr Schaudt Landscape Architects of Chicago, IL was design landscape architect. Bohlin, Cywinski Jackson Architects designed two buildings for the site. Infrastructure Associates provided Civil, Structural and Electrical engineering services; James Pole Associates was irrigation designer and William Welch, Ph.D. was horticulture consultant. Centennial Gardens includes a series of pleasure gardens arranged around a grand central lawn and dramatic ‘garden mount’. An Arid Garden, Woodland Walk, Celebration Garden, Family Garden, Rose Garden and Pine Hill Walk delight visitors with a variety of garden experiences.
Bethel Park is a unique new park in Houston’s historic Fourth Ward. White Oak Studio led a team of architects and engineers to create a beautiful community park from the ruins of this African-American church. Masonry walls remaining after a 2005 fire were restored and now frame a dramatic open-air space that celebrates the history of the church and the Freedman’s Town community. New steel trusses tower overhead and support the walls while steel and color polycarbonate panels recall the original stained glass windows. Outside the walls, an open lawn surrounded by Southern Sugar Maples provides a welcome oasis in the dense urban neighborhood.