Progress waits for no one in Houston. Especially if one happens to be resting on prime real estate. The shuttered Weather Museum, housed in a building that dates back to 1930, is set to become the latest obstacle removed in the race for stylish upscale housing in a still-booming Houston. The building will be demolished to clear the way for The Mondrian, an eight-story, 20-unit luxury condominium building.
The new condos jump right into an artsy neighborhood near the striking Asia Society Texas Center building. The Mondrian’s developers vow that their condos will complement that arresting architecture.
“In many ways, this is a legacy initiative for our firm,” Shahin Jamea, co-principal of Oxberry Group, said in a statement. “Firstly, we felt an obligation to our immediate neighbors, including the Asia Society, to respect and honor the architectural bar they have established in this pocket of the Museum District. Our goal for this special site is the creation of a landmark that makes the community proud, and a place that we would be proud to call home.”
Living up to the Asia Society’s aesthetic is a lofty goal, one that falls to the firms co-designing the project: the Houston and Washington, D.C., offices of Perkins+Will and locally based Mayfield and Ragni Studio (MaRS), which will handle the interiors. Of course, future residents are likely to be most interested in the perks.
There is a virtual arms race of luxury one-upmanship going on in the upper levels of mid- and high-rise living in Houston. This new project is jumping into that competition with soaring ceilings (in some of the condos, they’ll stretch two-stories), art walls, outdoor terraces built to handle summer kitchens and 24-hour concierge service. No more than three condos will be located on any floor of the new building.
In a way, this is a true Houston-of-today story. A quaint old closed-down museum is giving way to a gleaming mini tower of very modern design. The renderings of The Mondrian show an interlocked-boxes design different from many of the cookie-cutter, four-levels with connected parking mid-rises that are springing up all over the city.
The new condo’s address is 5104 Caroline (right at the corner of Caroline and Palm). Transwestern Houston was listing the old Weather Museum site for $1.45 million. Plans call for the 5,097-square-foot building to be demolished after the Houston City Council approves this new project.
Time waits for no museum in Houston.