What’s the Houston Ballet’s new $53 million, 120,000-sq.-ft. Downtown headquarters building going to look like? Two renderings of the 6-story building planned for the block between Smith, Louisiana, Congress, and Preston Sts. have appeared on an architecture website based in the U.K.
A connecting skybridge would prevent tutus from wilting on the long journey between the new ballet practice facilities and the Wortham Center, which is catty-corner to the site. The new building will also house the ballet’s offices and wardrobe shop, as well as the the Ben Stevenson Academy.
The two views of the building don’t exactly gibe — a likely sign that the design is not final:
Gensler design director Marshall Strabala, the building’s architect, said in an interview appearing on the e-Architect website that the Houston ballet building was his second-favorite design project he’s worked on.
If fundraising goes well, the building will be complete by 2011, according to the British website. Under current economic conditions, that’s got to be a big “if.” Jennifer Dawson reports in the Houston Business Journal that the Houston Ballet sold its current main building at 1912 W. Gray — together with half of the downtown block it had purchased — to a joint venture between Dienna Nelson Augustine and Atlanta-based Novare Group last year, but is leasing the facility back only until the end of May 2010. The new owners have put the West Gray building and the Downtown half-block back on the market.
- Texas Building, USA [e-Architect]
- Marshall Strabala Architect [e-Architect]
- Houston Ballet dancing into downtown [Houston Business Journal]
- With $53 million move, ballet will grow by leaps and bounds [Houston Chronicle]
- 1916 West Gray & 1917 West Bell [Cushman & Wakefield]