RVi is in the midst of working on one of the first neighborhood parks within the newest master planned community being developed by The Howard Hughes Corporation and its subsidiary, The Woodlands Development Company – The Woodlands Hills. The 2,000-acre community, located thirteen miles north of The Woodlands, will feature open spaces with rolling terrain and abundant areas of preserved trees and native vegetation typical in the piney woods.

The client’s vision is to create a wholesome experience for its residents with plentiful walking trails and open spaces. The design of the open spaces will connect residents with the site’s existing character and, essentially, allow them to experience a life in the woods.

The RVi Houston team was hired to design a 1-acre neighborhood park known as 3E Park. The site, which features gentle slopes and is heavily wooded, is located in the northwest part of the community. Construction of the park is slated for late summer of 2019.

The focus of the design was to minimize the construction footprint to protect existing trees while creating a meaningful experience for the residents. The client’s wish list included a playground, an open-air pavilion, trails with plentiful picnic and seating and minimal parking to discourage the use of cars.

After reviewing the arborist’s survey, RVi “carved out” an open space and identified locations for new trails and additional program elements. A natural mound was added to the center of the park to add a vertical element and to enhance the natural experience theme the client is looking to exemplify. The custom designed open-air pavilion will be a contemporary, stream-lined light steel structure with wood accents.

The overall development will require the minimal clearing of some trees. RVi’s ongoing goal is to work alongside the client to explore ways in which we can transform some of the trees that will need to be removed into seating benches, climbing logs, stepping stones or further site amenities in the park.