Innovating Research Environments
Page Senior Principal Art Chavez just attended a ribbon-cutting ceremony that officially opened a Page-designed project with the potential to advance the energy industry. The new 60,000-square-foot Aramco Services Houston Research Center is located in a repurposed high bay office space that began life as a warehouse. Under Page’s expertise, it is now a state-of-the-art research and development (R&D) facility that will conduct upstream energy research in exploration, drilling, field development and production management.
Senior Principal Chavez commented that Page’s repurposing of the Research Center structure, which retained virtually its original footprint, is an example of how the firm successfully demonstrated its understanding of the complexities of the Science / Technology core market. Additionally, it reflects Page’s collaborative design approach in several ways.
Given the need to open this facility as quickly as possible, Page facilitated a collaborative working process between the broker and client to identify and test-fit renovations of existing buildings in the marketplace to determine the best option for the new research facility.
It was essential that Page design the office and laboratory spaces to maximize staff collaboration opportunities through proximity and access as well as flexibility in use today as well as for design upgrades in the future. For example, laboratories were designed not only to accommodate different types of research activity but also as pairs that can be conjoined into larger lab spaces or used individually.
Page ensured that Aramco Service’s brand is immediately experienced upon approach to the visitor entry lobby and reception. Throughout the space, characteristics of the brand are reinforced through use of a modern palette of materials such as glass, brushed stainless steel, sleek carpet tile patterns and pendant lighting, as well as colors from the company’s signature and logo.
According to Khalid Al-Falih, president and CEO of Saudi Aramco, the parent company of Aramco Services, the center will create 100 high-tech, scientific and research jobs. It is one of three U.S.-based Aramco Services R&D centers although the Houston location is the company’s largest, which is reflective of Houston’s role as the Energy Capital of the World.
The ribbon cutting ceremony was covered by media and additional details about the facility are available in a Houston News article. To view it, click here.
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