southeast corner of mandell st. & westheimer rd.

Scope of design along Westheimer Rd. between Shepherd Drive & Montrose Blvd.

designated loading and unloading zones to increase driver / passenger safety and decreases traffic congestion 

seating areas and interactive furniture act as a buffer zone between the street and the building, it encourage pedestrians to linger, increasing the percentage of potential purchases at adjacent stores

pockets of spaces behind buildings create common areas shared by multiple businesses, creating a community-like sanctuary 

a temporary food tuck park with temporary shading elements and seating

backyard parking spaces are re-purposed to outdoor dining, increasing the store's occupancy limit 

temporary pop-up stores feature start-up businesses and new market products

in phase 2,  temporary interventions become permit & pedestrian walkway increase in depth as vehicular lanes are reduced to public transit only lanes 

iconic LED street lights to be associated with the brand of lower westheimer  

various bus stop designs to encourage the use of public transit & to reinforce the eclectic culture of lower westheimer 

bike lanes run parallel with roads that cross westheimer with additional Hosuton B cycle stops coupled with traditional bicycle racks 

food truck park become permit in phase 02 and is now the premier food truck park in Houston, allowing new food trucks to debut to the public 

as the idea and implementation of driver-less cars become a reality in the future, lower westheimer will introduce automated parking garages to accommodate the increasing demand of parking spaces 

displacing parking spaces to automated garages allow businesses to overflow into existing parking spaces, such as this animal hospital re-purposing their parking spaces into a dog park

the iconic street lights in phase 03 grow a tower to support an alternative means of transportation, gondolas

similar to the automated parking garages, these gondola stations will be fully automated, supervised by minimal staff / maintenance, they straddle the road allowing for pedestrian and public transit to move through the under the structure 

 public pools are scarce in Houston, and the addition of a public pool near windsor st. will be servicing multiple vendors / residences 

public pools are scarce in Houston, and the addition of a public pool near windsor st. will be servicing multiple vendors / residences 

 phase 04 is radical, the road has been entirly replaced by pedestrian traffic and an urban park

phase 04 is radical, the road has been entirly replaced by pedestrian traffic and an urban park

 In phase 04 the gondola system proves to be successful and is extended to connect shepherd drive, allen parkway, montrose boulevard, and downtown

In phase 04 the gondola system proves to be successful and is extended to connect shepherd drive, allen parkway, montrose boulevard, and downtown

 the gondola system in phase 04 creates a loop within montrose and births a new "super neighborhood"

the gondola system in phase 04 creates a loop within montrose and births a new "super neighborhood"

The future of lower westheimer

Lower Westheimer has always been a unique, and diverse hub in Montrose. Recently, the City of Houston and the Montrose Management District have discussed improving the road conditions between Shepard Drive and Montrose Boulevard. Gensler’s By Design group identified this opportunity and proposes a design, that not only improves road conditions, but relieves traffic congestion, increases foot traffic, and generates more revenue for local businesses, all while preserving the Montrose / Westheimer culture.  

The design is segmented into 4 different phases, each phase becoming more permanent and pedestrian friendly as they progress. Phase 1 implements simple, but impactful projects that can be completed in one weekend. Phase 2 solidifies these ideas, but also takes advantage of repurposing parking lots to introduce new programs and densify the site. Phase 3 introduces a central gondola system along Westheimer. Phase 4 expands this system into a loop that encompasses a large portion of the Montrose neighborhood. Additionally, the street transforms into a park, reinforcing the concept of walkable urban space in a city built exclusively for automobiles.

Team: Amanda Heineman, Kristin Jennings, Jong Kim, Laura Robinson