rethinkHOU :: No.002

rethink Houston icon

retrofit all downtown empty buildings and levels to athletic type facilities that could be intertwined together.


The state of the current economy has developed a large portion of empty space in what was originally developed as prime downtown office. These spaces need to be re-thought of in new ways that not only gives them occupation, but supplies the local area with needed services. The center of downtown, is a place flooded with people and buildings that leaves little room for recreation. In many European and East Coast cities, the mid-day’s lunch hour becomes a time many people utilize for fitness recreation. The evolution of development of Houston has left inadequate space for such activities and has thus had a physical effect on its residents.
Many of these spaces can be carved out or otherwise modified to accommodate new and exciting places of recreation for a unique experience. Imagine 20 empty floors of a tower being used for bungee jumping, empty 4 story buildings becoming large indoor swimming pools, batting cages 40 stories in the sky, running tracks integrated between buildings utilizing skywalks. These could influx a new exciting layer of activity into the city and spark interest in attracting workers from outside.

About pettydesign

James Petty is an American architect experiencing and contributing to the Yale School of Architecture.