Texas Architect September/October 2013: Design Awards
This year’s statewide design awards jury recognized 11 projects as outstanding examples of design in Texas. The three jurors — Ann Beha, FAIA, of Ann Beha Architects in Boston; Julie Eizenberg, AIA, of Koning Eizenberg in Santa Monica; and Douglas Stockman, AIA, of el dorado in Kansas City — collectively sought to recognize a diversity of project scales and typologies. They also embraced designs that they described as straightforward, elegant, clear, and simple.
Portfolio: Office Interiors An Office for an Interiors Firm Project PDR, Houston Client PDR Architect PDR Design Team Stuart Harris, AIA; Wayne Braun; Joanne Taylor; Kirstin Weikert; Alexa Barrones; Monica Rodriguez-Luna Photographer Scott McDonald for Hedrich Blessing Lease expiration offered PDR the opportunity to reevaluate its workplace. Having designed many commercial offices for clients, this was a chance for the Houston-based architecture and interiors firm to follow its own advice and build something that would respond to its current business needs, yet remain adaptable for future changes. After debating several potential downtown locations and following careful self-scrutiny of workflow processes and firm culture, PDR selected the 39th floor of 2 Houston Center. The location was attractive because of its lively street activity and the expansive views of the streetscape from the offices. The design of the new space is a recalibration of the way employees work at PDR. Much of the space is organized into one large room, a studio where employees sit together, work, swap ideas, and share their lives. Exposed ductwork allows the ceiling to extend to its full 11-ft height. Floorto-ceiling windows along the majority of the exterior walls provide for expansive daylight. And this natural light bounces off of the white and yellow walls to create a bright, energized atmosphere. While most of the office space is part of the open plan, a series of smaller areas, designed to support individual creativity, teamwork efforts, teleconferences, and presentations, are available for employees to retreat to when necessary. In these spaces, chairs surround small tables in a layout reminiscent of a university library. PDR designed both the large studio area and the smaller break-out spaces with fluid boundaries, which can morph according to both the needs of individuals on a daily basis and the larger requirements of the firm as it grows. While its new studio is utilized as a means to help PDR succeed in business, it also serves as a model for its clients. A LEED Platinum-certified teaching tool, the PDR office provides a prime example for potential clients of how a workplace can be performance driven. It also represents the importance of design details for productive workflows and higher-quality workdays. 88 Texas Architect 9/10 2013