A 1906 B.A. Riesner building in Houston will soon be the new home to the Architecture Center Houston at heart of the city’s original downtown. Relocating from its previous home on Capitol Street, the Architecture Center is set to open in September or October with new designs from locally based practice Murphy Mears Architects.
With a workable floor plan that beat out nearly 30 other competing designs, the renderings depict a new sundrenched space clad with white floors and ceilings, as well as rolling steel panels to ensure zealous configuration for exhibitions. To combat flooding, quarter-inch-thick aluminum plates line the perimeter on two sides, while the facade features structural steel panels, custom fills and seals on doors, and drop-in flood panels.
The firm also crafted a 2,300-square-foot space called the “Boiler Room,” outfitted with a skylight and located adjacent to the main floor, eight feet below its surface. The design maintains a visual connection to Commerce Street with glass windows in place of wood warehouse doors. Conference rooms are also conceived to double as a boardrooms.
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