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space for collaboration between the two departments. “What we decided to do was depart from the formal plan of having the breakroom and employee areas in the back and centralized the plan so the two distinct operating companies could overlay the space and maintain their separate identities,” Mayfield explained. In response to another of the client’s criteria, DMJM Rottet took advantage of opportunities for bringing light and views to all work areas. “One thing we’ve always said is that ‘views and natural light are free,’” Rottet said of her firm’s design philosophy. “Their location affords them an endless view of the urban landscape in all directions from the tallest building in downtown Houston.” The effect is obvious in every area, from the reception area to the conference rooms, but is most striking where the breakroom opens onto a perimeter corridor

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overlooking the Houston cityscape. That specific area, said Kevin Howard, managing director of the bank’s Houston office, is often used for entertaining clients. They are always impressed with the space, he said: “The view from the office of downtown with all the lights on during a clear night is just spectacular.” Moreover, the lighting design was configured to complement the natural light from the exterior glazing. “We used a lot of indirect lighting to enhance the idea of the floating box,” Mayfield explained. “Gaps between the wall planes, and the wall and the ceiling, were infused with artificial light to create a sense of volume and space.” The sense of balanced natural and artificial light is carried throughout the project, even into individual employee work areas. While a visit to the new offices reveals a quiet continuity, there are surprises around every corner – a

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Texas Architect Sept/Oct 2007: Design Awards  

Texas Architect is the official publication of the Texas Society of Architects, each edition features recently completed projects and other...

Texas Architect Sept/Oct 2007: Design Awards  

Texas Architect is the official publication of the Texas Society of Architects, each edition features recently completed projects and other...