Beachtown is a unique mixed-used community comprising several villages. Located at the east end of Galveston Island, the site is bounded by the Gulf coast to the south, the Galveston Bay to the north and a natural preserve to the east. It is near the older section of Galveston, offering convenient access to many of the downtown’s major amenities. The community layout is inspired by the simplicity of the best historic coastal towns, with narrow, pedestrian-oriented streets; a mix of housing types nestled with offices and retail; and recognizable civic open spaces in the form of squares, plazas and parks. All of these features will foster a sense of permanence and community. Following traditional planning principles, the villages are defined as areas delineated by a five minute walk from center to edge, encouraging pedestrian activity and social interaction, as well as providing basic amenities within a walking distance of residents’ homes. The site’s exceptional views have been carefully enhanced through the use of prominent view corridors, which bring the beach experience deep into the community. Alleys and lanes provide rear vehicular access to most lots, allowing the replacement of some streets by passages. These provide direct pedestrian access to the beach. The building types reinforce the character of the streets and civic spaces. The architectural style features pitched roofs, generous elevated porches and decks, all of which evoke a relaxed lifestyle and the flavor of historic Galveston.
- Adaptive response: buildings raised above current flood criteria, relating to grade level public realm with generous porches at upper levels
- Character of public realm: three and four-story buildings reinforcing a variety of public space forms
- Connection to natural surroundings: pedestrian access with passages and greens
Defining Design Details
- Maintaining Old Galveston traditions: generous multi-story porches, metal roofs and light colors to reflect sunlight and heat