Here’s Your Chance to Design the AIA’s New Spaghetti-Proximal Downtown Headquarters

900 Commerce St., Downtown, Houston, 77002

A charrette will be held at 9AM tomorrow for anyone interested in entering the design competition for the American Institute of Architects’s new Houston chapter headquarters, to be located at 900 Commerce St. across from Spaghetti Warehouse.  After being outbid on the blue mod Christian Science church on Main St. back in January, AIA and Architecture Center Houston are instead purchasing around 8,000 sq. ft. of space in the 1906 B.A. Reisner building, adjacent to the storied Bayou Lofts occupying much of the block. Part 1 of the competition will solicit ideas only for the 5,400-sq.-ft. storefront, 2,200-sq.-ft. boiler room, and some connections between the spaces; teams making it to round 2 will win a bit of cash and be asked to create detailed designs for the storefront and the building’s facade.

The view of the Reisner building above was snapped from Commerce looking south; below is a black-and-white shot of the building from further east across Travis, taken back in the days of its early-1900s employment by Southern Rice Products Company:


900 Commerce St., Downtown, Houston, 77002

The AIA and ArCH have tentative Feburary 2017 plans to move into the spot within the nationally-registered Market Square Historic District. The contest description nods to a potential need for floodproofing the structure, which is less than a  block south of Buffalo Bayou. Just to the east of the property at Allen’s Landing, the under-kayak-geared-restoration Sunset Coffee building got some ground-floor silt during this week’s flooding, though Buffalo Bayou Partnership says that cleaning it out shouldn’t shake up the building’s construction schedule.

Photos: David Bucek (top); ArCH (bottom)

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