Groundbreaking is set for later this month on the new Houston headquarters for the Asia Society Texas Center. Designed by Yoshio Taniguchi, the two-story, 38,000-sf will be located in the city's museum district and will feature wide foyers and public spaces, a theater, an art gallery, flexible meeting rooms, a garden café, and offices for the organization.
Taniguchi's design for the building communicates the spirit of Asia, with forms and materials that have a strong relationship with nature. The building's exterior will primarily be Jura limestone and glass curtain wall with accents of stainless steel and aluminum panels. The floor material at ground level will be black granite on the exterior and volcanic rock on the interior. The limestone will continue as the primary material on the inside walls and part of floor on second floor. Walls in the 280-seat theater will be acoustical wood panels. From the theater, garden café, and gift shop on the first floor, stone and glass stairways connect to the second-floor lounge, which leads into the gallery and meeting rooms.
The Building Team includes architect of record Kendall/Heaton Associates and contractor W. S. Bellows Construction Corp., both based in Houston.
The center is scheduled to open in 2010.