Exaggerated site plan of Houston downtown and the 4 monsters: Toyota Center, the George R. Brown Convention Center, the Minute Maid Stadium, and the Mundeneum.
These giants require a lot of parking. So does downtown. Though parking garages are common, many surface parking lots remain creating dull, programless voids.
The language of frames grew from site analysis. Houston downtown functions as on-off functions: the stadiums and convention centers are only "on" during events, similarly to downtown, which is open in the event of 9am to 5pm work. They create a large empty frame, inside and out: a Monday evening would be a completely dead swath of the city.
The void within the Mundaneum momentarily acts not only as a grand courtyard, but as also as an extension of Discovery Park, which is a few blocks away. As time moves on in the cultural city of Houston, the Mundaneum can expand inward: it can construct its campus within itself, with the core of human knowledge, the library, as the shell.
Houston is still a city of cars. Accepting this reality, the Mundaneum provides underground parking at its anchor where "destination" programs reside: auditorium, classrooms, reading room and study areas, restaurant/cafe and conference center. The book spiral starts at this anchor.