This travertine-clad building built in 1970 was known for decades as one of two towers sited in close proximity that served as the home of a major energy company. In 2014, as the prime tenant prepared to leave, the owner worked with Page to develop a strategy to create a new identity and reposition the building in the corporate real estate market. The result is a Class A building featuring a new entrance, lobby, and a new façade on the four story base that redefines its presence in the downtown landscape.
The extensive renovation draws on the classic modern lines of the building’s architectural heritage while projecting a new image and brand. Natural stone, wood veneer, textured cast glass and stainless steel contribute to the building’s updated yet timeless appearance. The original brief described the project as a lobby renovation, but during discussions with ownership, it became a more ambitious project to transform the brand and perception in the market of this well-known building.
By studying how tenants and visitors encountered the building, the Page team designed a solution that addressed the approaches to the building through the downtown tunnel system as well as on the street level by vehicle and on foot. This prompted a move to relocate the main entry to a prominent corner of the building, and also resulted in a more prestigious address on the adjacent street: 811 Louisiana.
On the exterior, Page created a distinctive base clad in Virginia Mist granite, providing a new experience at the street level while creating a strong relationship to the base height expressed in the neighboring buildings. This elegant dark natural stone creates a strong base that contrasts with the existing travertine above. Translucent glass in vertical slot windows admit light into the parking garage behind as they mask the function from the street view and provide a syncopated rhythm across the facade. In the evening, the new façade glows under a band of LED light. The recessed ground floor lobby enclosure provides a continuous frameless glass front behind the perimeter columns. Stainless steel louvered canopies mark the new corner entry and shade the newly paved sidewalks of silver-green English limestone.
The building now features new monumental signage to announce its address and identity that marks the entry to a grand, light filled lobby. Once inside, visitors are greeted by a new interactive digital building directory and comfortable lounge areas appointed with sophisticated furnishings for reception and informal tenant meetings. The blue-gray tones and beautiful veining of bookmatched Aquasol quartzite clad walls rest on floors of Brandy Crag Silver limestone in a refreshing departure from the monochromatic travertine surfaces and dark, gold leaf ceiling of the original lobby.
Fumed larch wood veneer panels add warmth to the palette and articulate the elevator banks. Sleek white ceilings are bathed in light from concealed cove fixtures and the ample daylight through the frameless glass façade. Specialty pendant light fixtures highlight lounge settings and the centrally located security desk.
A constellation of pendant lights visually connects the street level lobby to the tunnel level escalator lobby below. The arrival experience and connection between tunnel and street level is further enhanced by a specially commissioned cast glass sculptural feature designed in collaboration with Joel Berman Glass Studios.
The resulting design of 811 Louisiana transforms the building into a place that is both familiar and refreshingly new as it claims a new place of prominence in the city. In this car-centric, yet ever-evolving city, it shows a proud face to those arriving in downtown by car, and provides an elegant experience for tenants and visitors no matter how they arrive.