SHW Group wins the 2008 Rice Design Alliance Charrette competition

SHW Group LogoHOUSTON, October 1, 2008 – SHW Group, one of the largest educational architecture firms in the U.S., recently won the Rice Design Alliance 2008 Design Charrette thanks to the talented teamwork of the company’s Houston office. SHW’s Houston studio and nine other architecture and landscape firms were challenged to “Stir things up along the Buffalo Bayou” by designing activities and physical solutions to encourage the local community to utilize the 53-mile waterway in Houston. The competition focuses each year on a particular design challenge. This year’s charrette was held in early August by the Buffalo Bayou Partnership and the Rice Design Alliance at the School of Architecture at Rice University.

The designs were viewed by the jury, comprised of Bob Eury, President of Central Houston, Inc.; Alan Krathaus, Principal of Core Design Studio; Kevin Shanley, President and CEO of SWA Group; and Lorie Westrick, Board Member of the Buffalo Bayou Partnership and Principal with Rey de la Reza Architects to determine a winning design. In addition to SHW Group being awarded the prize for Best in Show, two Honorable Mentions were given. One went to the team from TBG Partners and the other to a team from Asakura Robinson and Rey de la Reza Architects.

“This competition was an excellent opportunity to contribute to our local community by offering significant and lasting design solutions for improving life along the bayou corridor,” states Gary Blanton, managing principal for SHW Group Houston. “The waterfront destination is a vibrant, sustainable resource for all of Houston and we are proud to support the Buffalo Bayou Partnership’s efforts to develop and facilitate improvements to the Buffalo greenway system.”

About SHW Group

SHW Group is one of the world’s largest educational architecture and design firms, as ranked in the BD World Architecture’s 2008 The Big List. More than just an architecture firm, the company is known for its comprehensive collaboration with educators, cognitive researchers and strategic planners to design innovative facilities that support the learning process. Founded in 1945, SHW Group has grown to nearly 400 employees and seven studios nationwide. For more information, please visit

About The Rice Design Alliance

The Rice Design Alliance is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the advancement of architecture, urban design, and the built environment in the Houston region through educational programs, the publication of Cite: The Architecture + Design Review of Houston, and active programs to initiate physical improvements. Membership is open to the general public. For more information, please visit

About The Buffalo Bayou Partnership

The Buffalo Bayou Partnership is a non-profit organization that oversees Buffalo Bayou improvements. The Partnership coordinates the integration of major amenities into the Bayou greenbelt and seeks ways to increase community involvement through pedestrian, boating and biking amenities, permanent and temporary art installations, and other natural and built attractions. For more information, please visit


Media Contact: Claire Bloxom, (214) 329-9191