PDR Named Finalist for Society of British International Design Award

PDR has been named a finalist in the Office Design category 2016 Society of British International Design (SBID) Awards for our work on Vitol. 

The public is now invited to cast their votes for their favorite project here, as their votes will be counted towards the overall results. The closing date for the public voting will be on Friday 16 September 2016 at 5.30pm GMT.

Vitol, which PDR recently won an award through the American Institute of Architects (AIA) Houston Chapter, has been a long-time friend of PDR’s.  For nearly 30 years, PDR has provided customized spaces to meet Vitol’s evolving needs. From the first small lease space in North Houston, designed to house five traders, to their fourth and current location, PDR has shown a deep understanding of how Vitol works. Leveraging this knowledge PDR crafted an elegant new workplace to house their trading group in one room for the very first time.  By engaging the base building Developer and their architect early in the planning, PDR was able to modify the building shell to craft a customized space suited to Vitol’s goals; a world-class trading arena with long-term flexibility that maximizes the Vitol brand and captures the high-rise views overlooking the city from the double-height space. The sophisticated new facility is complete and occupied, marking another successful partnership between Vitol and PDR. 

Winners will be announced and awarded with the crystal SBID International Design Awards 2016 trophy at the official ceremony, held at The Dorchester hotel London on Friday, November 25th. 

All of the winners and finalists will be featured in The Global Interior Design 2016 coffee table book.

PDR Wins 2016 Design Award from American Institute of Architects Houston Chapter

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. 

PDR Announces our Perspectives 2016 Speakers

PDR Announces our Perspectives 2016 Speakers

PDR’s office, in downtown Houston, welcomes the presentations of: Drew Jones, Sheila Danko, and Brad Rossacci. Presentations will be followed by PDR’s review of our research on student workplace preferences and an interactive activity.

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Phillips 66 Family Open House

Photo: Hall Puckett
Houston Chronicle

We are thrilled that Phillips 66 had a successful Family Open House on Saturday, June 25th!  It was a brilliantly orchestrated change management tool to help employees transition into the new workspace.  After months of planning, employees and their families were invited to tour the headquarters prior to moving in next month.  Expertly executed wayfinding, informational signs, videos and materials designed by the PDR team encouraged employees to explore independently and proudly share their new headquarters with their families.

PDR’s partnership with Phillips 66 and their new headquarters project began last year when we designed and implemented an Experience Center for employees to learn about the detailed plans for the new headquarters.

We are so happy that we were able to collaborate with the Phillips 66 team on such an impressive project!

Click here for the "Phillips shows off new HQ" article as featured in the Houston Chronicle. 

PDR Announced in Interior Design’s 2016 Top 100 Giants

PDR is proud to be listed in Interior Design’s 2016 Top 100 Giants list. 

According to Interior Design’s research, “All Giants expect the best growth from the U.S. and Canada. The Northeast, South, and West should be strongest. In addition, a nice bump is expected below the Mason-Dixon Line. Hard data tells us a lot, of course, but anecdotal evidence reveals some trends that result from the numbers. One theme seems to be diversification—of client base, the type of work firms want to do, and geographic locations. This makes sense, as prosperity allows for expansion.”  

For more, click here.

The New Corporate Campus as featured in Work Design Magazine


The New Corporate Campus, by PDR Chairman Drew Patton, is featured in Work Design Magazine.  In the article, Drew discusses the key reasons why suburban campuses are appealing to corporations and how that results in a competitive advantage. Focusing on what corporate campuses are offering today that is different from what we saw in the past. Today’s campus is also investing more in work-life balance, showing employees value through their workplace amenities like wellness centers, collegiate clubs, or childcare options.   

There are three realms of work that a well-designed campus amplifies: the urban vibe, the collegiate atmosphere, and the walk in the woods. The urban vibe can be understood as the energy and the urgency of working in an urban setting in close proximity to colleagues. A lot of people have to get their work done today or in the next 10 minutes. A sense of urgency is achieved with density; even if you can see the trees and the skyline or walk outside, you are located nearby your peers  The urban vibe is the highest impact realm of work for researchers and companies with long-term goals in mind.

The second realm is the collegiate atmosphere: a walkable, pedestrian-friendly campus. Today’s leading corporate campuses have their employees park their cars outside the campus. The campus is pedestrian-oriented — inside or outside, elevated or on the ground, and builds the sense of a college. The collegiate atmosphere is also achieved using scale: 90 feet across from building to building, with buildings six and seven stories tall so that employees can identify the person they see across the way. Visibility is key to the collegiate scale — all views are short enough that you can actually identify someone walking toward you.

The third realm is the walk in the woods: truly, woods to walk in, a soccer field, or a swimming pool. Outdoor spaces nurture the authentic roots of a company and support the people. All of this is not about the architecture: it’s about the people who work in the architecture.

The corporate campus and work place is not about the architecture — it’s about the people who work in the architecture. 

Click here to see the full article in Work Design Magazine. 

Drew Patton

Drew Patton is Chairman and Chief Business Strategist at PDR. In his 34 years with the organization, he has played a critical role in developing the firm into one of the world’s leading workplace consulting design firms. Drew also advises senior executives on the value of workplace design and is responsible for strategic relationships with organizations such as the U.S. Department of State, Andersen, Accenture, AIM, ExxonMobil, ConocoPhillips, and Coventry Development.


HBJ: PDR One of the Largest Houston Area Architecture Firms

Houston Business Journal announced PDR as one of the largest 25 Houston-area architecture firms.  The annual list is comprised of data obtained from questionnaires and includes historical data, number of licensed architects and billings for general architecture and interior architecture projects from the firm’s Houston-area office for FY2015. 

For more information, click here.

PDR to Act as Interior Designer for New Dominion Resources Tower in Richmond, VA

 The new building will be a proud addition to Richmond’s skyline, offering views of downtown and the James River.  A decision about the construction of a second tower (pictured) will be made in 2019.

The new building will be a proud addition to Richmond’s skyline, offering views of downtown and the James River.  A decision about the construction of a second tower (pictured) will be made in 2019.

Yesterday, Dominion Resources announced its plan to construct a new office tower in downtown Richmond, VA.  The design and construction team for the new tower will include Richmond-based Hourigan Construction as general contractor with Chicago-based developer Clayco as joint venture partner, Kendall/Heaton Associates of Houston as architect of record, Pickard Chilton of New Haven, Connecticut as design architect, and PDR as the interior designer.  

At 20 stories, the office tower will provide 908,000 square feet of office and amenity space, including ground floor retail. It will replace an existing structure – the Richmond Plaza building – that Dominion purchased in 2011.  Site demolition is expected to begin in June, and the new tower’s construction is targeted for completion in early 2019.  Dominion is also considering the construction of a second, adjacent tower to replace its existing headquarters but will not make a final decision until the first building nears completion in 2019.

PDR is proud of to be part of this impactful project that will shape the Richmond skyline and influence the future of Dominion’s workplace.  

For the full article on Richmond Times Dispatch, click here

PDR wins American Marketing Association's Crystal Award!


PDR takes home an American Marketing Awards Crystal Award in the “Branding – Corporate Identity” category for Eight Row Flint. The Visual Communications team brought the owners’ vision to fruition for the restaurant’s fall 2015 launch, and patrons have been flocking to the “revisionist ice-house” at the corner of Yale and East 11th Street ever since.

The inventive minds behind Eight Row Flint are restauranteurs Morgan Weber and Chef Ryan Pera of Revival Market and Coltivare fame. For this, their third venture in the Houston Heights neighborhood, they wanted to engage similar themes found in their other two restaurants, but with a distinctive stylistic twist. While Eight Row Flint carries the Weber/Pera torch of revering locally sourced, high quality, and heritage ingredients the establishment makes a point to do so with zero pretense or fuss: it’s a repurposed gas station where you can relax, enjoy some vintage country tunes, and fill up on great whiskey drinks and street-fair inspired tacos. 

PDR joined the project when the gas station was freshly-gutted—a well-worn, but nonetheless, clean slate. They were charged with creating a visual identity to reinforce the brand Weber and Pera were beginning to shape. The collaboration with PDR manifested in a hand drawn logo mark, exterior signage, a vehicle wrap, menu design, website and additional consultation on aspects of the interior design like furniture, lighting, and color choice.

There were several opportunities the PDR team noted when developing the Eight Row Flint identity:

Embrace “Food Geek” Origins while Playing it Cool

The visual identity needed to evoke an easy-going sensibility while offering insight into the story of the restaurant’s namesake. The Eight Row Flint is an heirloom variety of corn that has been revived on a small scale due to its superior flavor to typical corn. It was farmed before Europeans even set foot on what would become the Americas, its fermented mash may have been used to create an alcoholic ancestor to our modern-day whiskeys, and it undoubtedly found its way into tortillas. Eight Row Flint fell out of favor with industrialized farming because of its low yield compared to other varieties of corn, but it is making its way back into smaller markets and restaurants because of the slow food movement and efforts from foodie entrepreneurs like Weber and Pera.

The story of the Eight Row Flint variety of corn is central to the establishment’s identity and what drives its two main menu offerings, whiskey and tacos — but not all patrons really want a history lesson with their cocktail. To maintain the relaxing, fun, uniquely “Houston” atmosphere, the logo needed to work on a simple “come-as-you-are” level, but also have a deeper read for those who wanted to learn more.

Balance Grit with Gloss

The designs needed to riff on the stylistic interior design choices that placed fresh modern fixtures against sixty years of gas station patina. The establishment’s identity needed to feel new and contemporary but also draw its strength from age-old traditions associated with farming, distilling spirits, and enjoying open-air marketplaces.

Create an Authentic Destination, a Place to Refuel, a Place to Belong

The PDR team designed the Eight Row Flint identity from a very holistic point of view. The visual identity is one component of the overall atmosphere of the establishment and it needed to be executed at a pitch-perfect level to achieve authenticity and avoid a “franchise feel”. The building, a former gas station, once serviced cars. In its new incarnation the building offers services to people — with the hope that they will be returning for regular “maintenance.”

In an area of Houston where restaurant patrons are spoiled for choice, PDR is proud to have taken home the award for creating a tailored yet easy-going identity for the new “revisionist ice-house”.  

PDR’s Picasso-Inspired Design Turns Heads at IIDA Product Runway

PDR’s Product Runway design team stole the spotlight at Friday night’s 8th Annual Product Runway fashion show with their couture adaptation of Pablo Picasso’s painting, Weeping Woman.  The garment, composed of architectural finish materials from Horizon Italian Tile and Milliken pays tribute to the original cubist artwork with a somber color palette and flattened, angular shapes that reflect Picasso’s representation of the Weeping Woman’s tears. PDR’s design was a crowd favorite and received the award for 2nd Place out of 19 entries.

This year’s Product Runway theme, Avant Art, required each of the competing teams, comprised of interior design and architecture professionals and interior design students, to design and construct a garment representing an assigned art movement and correlating artist.  PDR’s team had the privilege of creating a design based on Cubism and the work of Picasso. 

Product Runway is an annual charitable event hosted by the Texas Oklahoma Chapter of the International Interior Design Association (IIDA) benefitting the Houston Furniture Bank,  a local non-profit that makes houses into homes by providing furniture for families in need.  In addition to designing and constructing their award-winning entry to the fashion show, PDR’s design team raised over $900 in support of the event. Each year, PDR participates in Product Runway for the opportunity to cultivate our Inside Out mindset by leveraging our design talent to support and improve our Houston community.

Photography by: Scott DeWoody