GRB architect reflects on 30-year-old building amid Super Bowl LI festivities

The George R. Brown Convention Center turns 30 in 2017.

HOUSTON - The George R. Brown Convention Center turns 30 in 2017.

The original architect still takes pride in his creation.

“It’s been regarded as a landmark in Houston,” said architect Mario Bolullo.

Bolullo received lots of publicity when what became known as the GRB opened in 1987. Time magazine even profiled the cutting-edge convention center.

“High-tech, streamlined, very modern,” Bolullo said.

The design has since been maligned by some. But Bolullo doesn’t balk at comparisons to a giant cruise ship.

“It has lasted more than many other things,” Bolullo said.

He says the facility’s real strength is its interior.

The vast spaces are available for a variety of events, like the NFL Experience that’s currently underway.

“The meat of the sandwich is inside,” Bolullo said. “So you have to go there and see how well it functions and how flexible it is.”

He gives Pablo Picasso credit for crafting a perfect response to critics.

“I don’t care whether people like what I do or don’t like what I do as long as they talk about it,” Bolullo said.

Bolullo is still very active.

In fact, he’s working on a condo/hotel project in the EaDo area just on the other side of Highway 59 from the GRB.

© 2017 KHOU-TV


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