Denver, CO Architects

Houston Police Department, Fondren Substation

  • Houston, TX

This 30,000 S.F. police station for District 17 in Houston is designed to physically communicate the stations philosophy ‘order through law, justice with mercy’.  From this mantra, the building concept is defined.  The simple, rational building geometry speaks to the notion of order through the expression of the building module, the structural system and the organization of the plan.  This ordered approach is also a direct contextual response to the chaotic, haphazard suburban condition around the site and the zoning free environment of Houston.

The building envelope, a functional and inexpensive tilt-up concrete wall system, represents order.  The wall is eroded at special areas to allude to the notion of mercy.  Mercy/respite areas are recalled at entries for both the public and police.  These interventions break through the order with softer materials, transparency, sun and rain protection, and linear strips of landscaping.  Through the public lobby the police street beyond acts as an interior respite zone.  At the secure police parking court, the ordered solidity of the protective barrier is eroded to reveal the internal functions of the patrol component, the hub of the interior organization.  A skylighted central hall/respite zone provides access to all major activity zones and widens to create an open, daylighted environment for report writing.  The building is designed to achieve LEED certification.

Rey de la Reza Architects, associated architects