When Ziegler Cooper Architects was commissioned to renovate the 51-story, Fulbright Tower in downtown Houston, the goal was simple; to create a design that respected the buildings original 1982, classic geometry and materials. The design team maintained the building’s original palette by using polished grey granite accented by African Makore wood in several areas throughout the main lobby and elevator cabs.
The 18-foot-long, custom reception desk consists of translucent glass panels with satin stainless steel fasteners and detailing layered in front of Makore panels. A similar warm wood tone tops the glass railing surrounding the opening where escalators connect street and mezzanine lobby levels.
Lighting creates a strong design statement while providing effective illumination. Atop the two-story escalator area, the semi-circular shape of the escalator opening is replicated in a sculpted ceiling. A hidden fluorescent cove extends a glow beyond the curve of the dropped ceiling’s perimeter. As building users reach the top of the escalator, their path to the elevator lobbies is lit by crystalline luminous elements in the ceiling. In addition, elevator lobbies have suspended ceilings with fluorescent lighting above.
The architectural design is complemented by new clear and elegant environmental graphics crafted of polished and satin stainless steel, translucent glass and Makore veneer. Completing the design scheme, two seating groups with custom area rugs and tables elegantly balance the space.