Cloud Nine A clever spruc­ing up of a for­mer ar­chi­tec­tural eye-sore serves as a les­son to all

Bespoke - - OMG! -

It’s a sim­i­lar prob­lem for most cities: what to we do with that enor­mous 1970s eyesore? In the case of the Allen Cen­ter at the cor­ner Smith and Dal­las streets in Down­town Hous­ton, the so­lu­tion was not to knock the whole thing down and start afresh, rather its owner, Brook­field Prop­erty Part­ners, de­cided from the out­set to go about a ma­jor re­de­vel­op­ment and in­vested 48.5 mil­lion USD in or­der to get it done right. The first phase is now com­plete and presents a new lobby in Allen One that boasts a mod­ern two-storey glass façade as well as a stun­ning ‘Pris­matic Cloud’ light sculp­ture by the Ja­panese artist Toku­jin Yosh­ioka. Spec­tac­u­lar in scale, the piece com­prises 17,700 acrylic rods that are sus­pended and stacked in a ne­bula for­ma­tion across the ceil­ing so that they re­flect nat­u­ral light dur­ing the day and emit their own light atthe night. The ren­o­va­tion has ap­par­ently worked a charm, for the com­plex is now bet­ter look­ing, the newly land­scaped out­door spa­ces draw in the gen­eral pub­lic at last and one par­tic­u­lar ten­ant, Saudi Aramco, has de­cided to dou­ble its square footage sign­ing a new lease for its sub­sidiary en­ergy firm, Mo­tiva En­ter­prises, that’ll see the build­ing re­named Mo­tiva Plaza.

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