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The outdated Barbara Jordan Post Office, a sprawling former USPS hub and mail sorting warehouse on the commercial northwestern fringes of downtown Houston, is as soon as once more whirring with exercise after its OMA-led reawakening as a mixed-use cultural complicated. The first part of the metamorphic POST Houston adaptive reuse venture, designed by OMA New York associate Jason Long, has reached “significant completion” and main parts of the complicated, together with a meals corridor and “Texas-sized” rooftop park, have been unveiled to an estimated 40,000 keen Houstonians on November 13 for a weekend of particular programming on the resuscitated landmark constructing.

Described by OMA as “an active and mutable collection of programs” the multitasking POST Houston is envisioned as an area calibrated to “evolve together with Houston as the city continues to diversify not only demographically but also culturally, socially, and economically.”

One of three monumental staircase-featuring atria that anchor the sprawling former USPS warehouse. (Leonid Furmansky)

Built in 1962, the concrete-finned submit workplace constructing (it was designed by Wilson Morris Crain & Anderson of Astrodome fame) and its colossal warehouse served as an lively USPS facility up till 2014, when the half-million-square-foot complicated was shuttered and its future was thrown right into a state of uncertainty. Plans to remodel the property into what AN beforehand known as a “mixed-use bonanza” have been first revealed in 2019, with grasp plan research commencing three years earlier than that. Houston-based Lovett Commercial is spearheading the formidable redevelopment scheme that, in its first part, “balances re-use with surgical interventions that integrate the 16-acre site into the fabric of the downtown,” based on OMA.

Key options of the reactivated Barbara Jordan Post Office revealed over two years in the past at the moment are full or underway as a part of the primary redevelopment part. That features a swath of second-level collaborative workspaces that includes skylights and expansive flooring plates, the 30 vendor-strong POST Market meals corridor on the retail and dining-dedicated floor degree, and the expansive Skylawn rooftop park.

aerial nighttime view of a low-slung mixed-use complex with a large rooftop park
Aerial view of POST Houston and Skylawn, a 5-acre rooftop park, at night time. (Steve Hyde)

Spanning 170,000 sq. ft and providing guests unobstructed views of the downtown Houston skyline, the rooftop oasis-slash-gathering-space options gardens, a large city farm, leisure zones, eating, devoted al fresco efficiency and occasion house, and extra. As famous in an OMA press launch, the Bayou City’s new park-topped vacation spot serves as a “link to a new public space within the city and dramatic view out over its juxtapositions—of infrastructure, business ambition, and natural vitality.”

“POST Houston will be a microcosm of the diversity that makes the city itself so exciting: an agglomeration of culture, food, and tropical urbanism housed within a solid concrete shell,” added Long in a press release. “The impact should be larger than even the massive footprint of the warehouse itself. By cutting into the building and drawing people in and through it, we are aiming to fold different programs into every corner—weddings next to food halls next to concerts next to new ways of working—and to turn Houston to a view that reveals the city’s radical ambition.”

conceptual rendering of a lawn tool
“Like farmers working on concrete soil, OMA raked a series of horizontal thoroughfares into and through the existing building,” defined the agency. (Courtesy OMA)

Located inside the jap wing of the revamped postal facility is 713 Musical Hall (previously often called The Terminal), a 5,000-person capability Live Nation efficiency venue additionally designed by Jason Long/OMA with delicate nods to Houston’s aerospace legacy and that serves because the “cultural anchor” of POST HOUSTON. Taking the stage within the upcoming weeks and months are an eclectic variety of acts together with DaBaby, Chelsea Handler, Erasure, and Willie Nelson & Friends.

Back within the central 50,000-square-foot portion of reactivated USPS warehouse are three central atria dubbed X, O, and Z. Each atrium—O is positioned within the bodily center of the constructing and contains the meals corridor—includes a grand staircase that gives direct entry to Skylawn. “The stairs are distinct in character, structure, and material, but all are designed to encourage interaction,” defined OMA. “Their paths are doubled, intertwined, and expanded to provide not just trajectories up to the roof but places for accidental encounter—each is an instrument to bring people together.”

view of a modernist building surrounded by parking lots with the downtown houston skyline in the background
View of the outdated Barbara Jordan Post Office with the downtown Houston skyline within the background. (Courtesy OMA)

Writing for the Houston Chronicle, Abigail Rosenthal praised POST Houston, even in its not-yet-completed state, as having the uncommon potential to function a significant crowd-drawing boon for downtown Houston—not traditionally a significant draw for vacationers or locals—that serves as an all-day, all-under-one-roof vacation spot very like enclosed purchasing malls of yore as soon as did. Within the outdated warehouse, guests can eat (many occasions over), soak up an artwork exhibition or efficiency, store, and, final however not least, unwind, socialize, and attend a yoga class on the rooftop park. And with the 713 Music Hall additionally forming a part of the multifaceted compound, guests may even soak up a live performance or main comedy act on the finish of the day.

Bringing the primary part of POST Houston to life alongside OMA have been a crew of core collaborators together with Chicago-based panorama structure agency Hoerr Schaudt, Powers Brown Architecture, LUCID, MTWTF, Formation, Dot Dash, and Harvey Builders.

Be certain to maintain an eye fixed out for a forthcoming deep dive into the POST Houston from AN’s Texas-based editor-in-chief, Aaron Seward.

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