The George R. Brown Convention Center, named for the Houston engineer and philanthropist who cofounded the Brown and Root construction corporation, the Texas Eastern Transmission Corporation natural gas transmission company, and the Houston Center real estate development, was built on the extreme east edge of downtown. By the turn of the twenty-first century, it had been joined by the twenty-four-story, twelve-hundred-room Hilton Americas–Houston of 2003 by Arquitectonica of Miami and Gensler of Houston at 1600 Lamar Avenue, and, at 1510 Polk Avenue, by the Toyota Center, an 18,000-seat basketball and ice hockey arena of 2003 by HOK Sport and Morris Architects. Mario Bolullo of Golemon Architects was the principal designer of the convention center. The building is eminently logical in its planning and exterior organization. Red- and blue-colored structural and servicing components play off the center's taut, white aluminum skin. Broad expanses of glass, framed between projecting stair towers, enclose the public concourses of the center and provide for generous views of the downtown skyline to the west.
The dramatic horizontal expanse of the convention center is mirrored in Discovery Green, a twelve-acre urban event space built between 2006 and 2008 in the 900–1100 blocks of Avenida de las Américas to the designs of landscape architects Hargreaves Associates of San Francisco with Lauren Griffiths of Houston and architects Page-SoutherlandPage, based on a program prepared by the Project for Public Spaces.