Sawyer Yards - 2021 ULI Americas Awards for Excellence Winner
Learn more about 2021 ULI Americas Awards for Excellence Finalist, Sawyer Yards (Houston, TX).
Most of the buildings in the neighborhood surrounding EV635 are former grand houses that have been converted in the past decade to respond to the new commercial needs of the city. These conversions have created tension between the architectural past and present. By forcing programs and aesthetics, the area is imbued in signage chaos while trying to maintain the atmosphere of a high-end residential area.
EV635 represents a different kind of dialogue between the building and its context. With EV635, ZD+A set out to design something that would become a bridge between what was and what will be, a building that “belongs” while also being true to its new functions, occupants, and needs.
The building has a recessed double façade covered with a bris Soleil on all four sides. The double façade lets the building maintain its aesthetic integrity while allowing a group of diverse commercial spaces to showcase themselves fully and minimize their signage, which facilitates the connection between pedestrians, nature, and architecture. Furthermore, hanging greenery throughout the perimeter is a key component in stitching the building seamlessly into its surroundings.
The eight-foot-tall windows open up all along its four sides allowing for access to natural light as well as ventilation to all areas of the building. By capturing rainwater and reusing it throughout the building it ensures a sustainable alternative that is both cost–efficient and ecologically favorable. Besides, passive cooling methods help minimize energy consumption.