The contract for Houston First Corporation involves serving as the architect and engineer leading a multi-disciplinary design team for planned improvements at the convention centre. The work is being carried out to address opportunities offered by a major 10-year highway project being carried out adjacent to the convention center and in the surrounding area.
George R Brown Convention Center (GRB) hosts more than 400 events and approximately 600,000 visitors annually. Its eastern portion currently backs up to the elevated freeway, and the plan is to connect both sides of downtown Houston. Jacobs will assist Houston First in modifications while ensuring that the convention centre remains fully operational during construction.
"We have an opportunity to be part of a project that will embrace a new gateway to East Downtown and make the convention centre and its connections to this newly created space unique and versatile, while maintaining operational functionality," said Jacobs global director of built environment and vice president Brad Simmons. "Our efforts will focus on helping Houston First continue delivering a positive experience for the community that results in repeat visits in both the business and leisure markets – both during construction of the North Houston Highway Improvement Project and for years to come."
The Jacobs team also includes convention and exhibition facility design firm Populous and landscape and architecture firm OJB. They will focus their design and engineering services on maximizing the facility's operational efficiencies, maintaining continuous business operations and coordinating efforts with the Texas Department of Transportation, the City of Houston and other entities involved in the North Houston Highway Improvement Project.
"Houston First is very excited about this once in a lifetime opportunity to improve the connection and accessibility between Downtown and Eado. Joining these two areas will be a game changer, providing a more enriching experience not only for visitors to the George R Brown Convention Center in the heart of Avenida Houston, but for all of Houston," said president and CEO of Houston First Brenda Bazan.