The West Houston Institute (WHI), at the corner of Westheimer and Hayes Roads, is a three-story, state-of-the-art STEM facility serving the education and workforce needs of West Houston.
WHI focuses on 21st-century learning and provides technology-driven spaces to foster advanced, engaging education, while also supporting partnerships with community businesses, organizations, school districts and universities. This innovative center for academic excellence was honored as a finalist in the 2018 SXSW EDU “Learn by Design” Competition.
Designed to accommodate 2,500 students, the facility includes a makerspace, conference center, library, “collaboratorium”, media commons, labs and active-learning classrooms. The makerspace provides equipment dedicated to woodworking, metalworking, textile weaving, electronics, ceramics, jewelry making and 3D printing. The 10,000-square-foot conference center and collaboratorium can accommodate 600 people for meetings and events focused on collaborative problem solving. A learning commons acts as a hub for students to access college resources and provides a collaborative space for team projects. Science and engineering labs offer a hands-on learning and research environments. All of WHI’s spaces are designed for current and future flexibility to accommodate developing technologies and teaching practices.
Dr. Edmund “Butch” Herod
From the onset, the institute was intended to be a truly unique facility that didn’t exist anywhere else in the academic world… We wanted the institute to exemplify what 21st learning spaces should be locally, regionally, and nationally… Sony Corporation heard about our space and was so impressed they flew four people in to tour it. Now we’re partners with Sony as part of their think tank on learning spaces…
Former Director of Houston Community College’s West Houston Institute.
The siting of this new STEM building forms a strong edge along heavily-trafficked Westheimer Road and defines HCC’s forward-looking image in Houston’s Energy Corridor. The building shape creates a protected quad towards the inner campus. Covered outdoor terraces extend the footprint of the building’s interior atrium. The courtyard addresses the existing campus buildings while new pathways connect all site components.