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02.20.2014
Craftsman Design with a Green Mind
The Woodlands in Houston gets a pedestrian-scaled retail center.
Courtesy Bailey Architects

Anticipating a fourth quarter 2014 opening, Creekside Village is set to be an innovative retail and office center in The Woodlands, north of Houston. Noting the popularity and success of Sugar Land Town Square and Rice Village—projects that bring a walkable scale to otherwise suburban, car-based environments—Bailey Architects and the Howard Hughes Corporation joined forces in crafting a plan that connects to the resources that exist around the site. The architectural style is a modern spin on traditional American Craftsman design, with natural materials, decorative brackets, deep overhanging eaves, and a large green space surrounded by lush trees and dotted with inviting pergolas and quaint arbors. “The central park, which includes relaxing water features and a splash pond, is made accessible via green walkways, as well as hike and bike trails,” said Ray Leiker, president and managing principal of Bailey Architects. “Bike racks have also been provided to encourage biking destinations for customers of the village who have sustainability in mind.”

 

Creekside Village’s pedestrian friendly layout connects via walking and bike trails to existing outdoor resources, such as the 1,700-acre George Mitchell Nature Preserve and the 20-acre Rob Fleming Park. “The large park was a continuation of the open space amenities we have in The Woodlands and the Village of Creekside Park. Many of the neighborhoods have central park features, and we wanted to bring that flavor to this retail and office center,” said developer Jim Carman, senior project manager with the Howard Hughes Corporation. “We had to really study the design closely, with the park in the center and inward facing storefronts, we don’t have a traditional back of house. We had to use natural materials, plantings to disguise service areas, and a large inviting breezeway to shepherd people from the parking areas to the amenities and retailers. A 4,500-square-foot restaurant building anchors one end of the park, with a splash pad and trellises anchoring the other. Patios from that restaurant and others in the center open out to the park.”

The recently created neighborhood of Liberty Branch, a traditional neighborhood design, also feeds into Creekside Village, offering homebuyers a unique and accessible retail center just a short trip from their home. The developer hopes that families living around the Village of Creekside Park will embrace the project, not just as a location to retrieve goods and services, but also as a place where they can meet their neighbors and cultivate a social climate.

Meghan Hendley-Lopez