On Thursday, August 25th, the Houston Chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) hosted their 2016 Design Award presentations at the University of Houston TDECU Stadium. We are honored to have received an Interior Architecture Award for workplace design for Vitol, an energy and commodities trading company in Houston, TX.
Vitol found a unique opportunity with a developer who was willing to tailor two floors of their base building. To ensure the base building would support Vitol's business needs, we worked with the developer and building architect to modify nearly all aspects of one floor and added a partial 2nd floor creating a large two story volume. Additional modifications to the base building design included structural bay depth changes, slab depressions for under-floor air, a large opening for a monumental stair and reshaping the outdoor terrace spaces. The result is a vast, two story trade arena, full height north-facing windows, and a mezzanine floor overlook that is dedicated to outside visitors and private meeting spaces.
Visitors entering the upper level see a breathtaking view of the 300 seat trade floor. Elegantly channeled columns rise to support the one-of-a-kind geometrically patterned ceiling. Comprised of 228 panels, the ceiling system is designed for maximize acoustical performance and reflecting light onto the trade floor. A wide, single run monumental stair connects to the lower floor at level with the trade floor. A 24-inch deep accessible floor system covers the entire lower level facilitating underfloor air conditioning and technology infrastructure allowing Vitol to stay ahead of rapidly changing technology. This floor also houses the 70 seat café, with full commercial kitchen, serving breakfast and lunch for Vitol's employees. A cardiovascular workout room with separate male and female shower / locker rooms provide a space for the employees to exercise while taking in the surrounding skyline views.
The curated art collection enriches and emboldens the space. The variety of materials and subject matter create their own presence within the minimalist design envelope. The result is a project that is elegant, timeless and elevating, giving Vitol a space infused with energy and their unique corporate culture.
Click here for the AIA Houston announcement.