Viva Houston! That was the theme for this year’s AIA Gala which was held at the (still under construction) City of Houston Central Permitting Center. Loyal followers of G2LD will note that this event incorporated two projects near and dear to our hearts–the permitting center, which we have been working on with Studio Red Architects and the Gala itself, for which Sarah Gandy served on the environment committee.

A semi-completed construction site may not appeal to many groups for a Gala setting, but for architects, well, they feel right at home. Kudos to the Manhattan construction team for pulling together the space in time for the event! Just what every GC wants to hear–that 700+ design professionals will be having a throw-down on your construction site. The site made some amazing transformations in the days leading up to the party…

City of Houston Central Permitting Center main entrance 5 days before Gala

City of Houston Central Permitting Center main entrance 5 days before Gala

City of Houston Central Permitting Center main entrance during the Gala

City of Houston Central Permitting Center main entrance during the Gala

Piles of sand for the terrazzo floors dot the Gala site just days before the big event--luckily the lighting was in!

Piles of sand for the terrazzo floors dot the Gala site just days before the big event--luckily the lighting was in!

Gels provided by BriteStar Productions dimmed the new office lights to a pleasing party-friendly amber hue. Floors are in. Bar is set up--ready for the crowds!

Gels provided by BriteStar Productions dimmed the new office lights to a pleasing party-friendly amber hue. Floors are in. Bar is set up--ready for the crowds!

Mayor Anise Parker spoke at the Gala highlighting the City’s commitment to green building and public art, both of which will be highlighted extensively in the “new” building (for those just now tuning in, it’s actually a renovated 1926 rice warehouse slated to achieve LEED Gold). Great speach and pat on the back for all involved and, may I say, I think the black and white video projection looked great in the industrial space…

Mayor Anise Parker addresses the 700+ crowd at the AIA Gala

Mayor Anise Parker addresses the 700+ crowd at the AIA Gala

Thanks to Mary Margaret Hansen, the lead artist for the COH project, for sharing her photos with us. The whole project will be peppered with very cool public art projects and you can follow Mary Margaret’s blog about the process and the artists here.

Artist Mary Margaret Hansen, Lance and Sarah Gandy visiting at the AIA Gala

Artist Mary Margaret Hansen, Lance and Sarah Gandy visiting at the AIA Gala

A great time was had by all. Looking forward to next year AND seeing the finished building!