Citation of Honor – Houston Zoo


The AIA Houston Citation of Honor is awarded to groups or organizations whose activities have made significant contributions to the improvement of the natural or built environment. In 2022 the Houston Zoo celebrates 100 years as a beloved public space, cultural icon, and model of conservation practices for the city. It has been a destination for recreation and education for countless Houstonians and has made invaluable contributions to the protection of natural environments and wildlife locally and around the world. Not content to rest on their laurels, in the lead up to their centennial, the Zoo has embarked on a $150 million campaign to redevelop nearly half of their 55 acre campus by 2023. This work includes:

  • The Cypress Circle Café transformation into a signature gathering place and certified green restaurant. The Lake/Flato designed building includes a reused 1955 structure and incorporation of existing cypress trees into the new Texas Wetlands Exhibit that engages visitors in the zoo’s breeding, monitoring, rehabilitation, and release programs with local species of birds, reptiles, bats, and pollinators.
  • The Pantanal: Trail of the Jaguar which explores the legendary tropical wetlands of Brazil – home to South America’s greatest concentration of wildlife and lush South American wetland with jaguars, monkeys, giant river otters, capybaras, birds, and tapirs.
  • Ancient Relatives Phase I showcasing the zoo’s award-winning bird conservation work with reimagined bird habitats and a new Avian Conservation Center that will directly support the zoo’s breeding programs for rare curassows and macaws as well as the program to breed and release Attwater’s prairie chickens, a local endangered species.
  • Galapagos Islands, North Entry, and Reflections, an immersive, first-of-its-kind exhibit showcasing the remarkable wildlife of the legendary island chain. This phase will also include enhancements to the Houston Zoo’s main entry, including a new mass timber café and event space designed by Lake/Flato and targeting LEED Gold.

For 100 years of contributions to our city and the amazing new work transforming the zoo for the next century, the 2022 AIA Houston Citation of Honor was presented to The Houston Zoo.