HoustonPBS UH Moment: Architecture Students Design Levee Solutions

Each year, students in the Gerald D. Hines College of Architecture apply their talents toward real world solutions. In 2012, that included concepts for a Galveston levee system. Such as a system has been proposed to Galveston officials and while no decision has been made, UH students in the Advanced Design Studio class used it as an opportunity to design functional levees.

Levee“We’re trying to respond to what are the realistic threats and integrate a visitor’s center to create a better economic situation for the Gulf Coast, as well as a safer Gulf Coast,” said UH architecture professor Thomas Colbert.

“When most people think of levees, they think of something that’s dead and won’t go out there,” said Cristhian Bisso, a fourth year architecture student. “So, I wanted to go out and do the complete opposite and make it the area where people visit the most and rejoice. I tried to incorporate retail, theatres as well as the visitor’s center, so it can be a very active area that connects the different parts of the city.”

Fifth-year architecture student Mel Fuentes developed a plan that would create an urban park alongside the levee.

“It’s a great opportunity for us to learn more about urban issues and not just focus on the buildings themselves – but address the issues around the area, more of the contextual conditions that affect the people that that area,” said Fuentes. “I think it’s beneficial for students like us to learn.”