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ExxonMobil Building in the SkyscraperPage Database

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  #1  
Old Posted Nov 11, 2013, 5:01 AM
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Lightbulb HOUSTON | 800 Bell | 606 FT / 185 M | 44 Floors | Redevelopment



Quote:
Originally Posted by Ziegler Cooper
Ziegler Cooper won an invitation-only competition for the extensive renovation of the Humble Oil Headquarters building. The 44 level structure, completed in 1962 and located in the southernmost portion of Houston’s Skyline District at Milam and Bell Streets, was once the tallest building west of the Mississippi River. When the original tenant – now ExxonMobil – vacates in the second quarter of 2015, a complete transformation of the building will begin, bringing it up to compete with other Class A+ properties in downtown Houston.

Ziegler Cooper’s winning design will include deepening the current lease depths to 42 feet to add over 100,000 square feet of new rent-able area, bringing the building gross square footage to 1.4 million square feet. In addition, the owner plans to redevelop the grand plaza along Bell Street, tie in the downtown tunnel system, renovate the lobby, re-clad the building in high-performance glazing to meet LEED Gold standards and create an illuminated, iconic crown that will mark 800 Bell as a striking new addition the Houston skyline.




800 Bell | Ziegler Cooper Architects

The new crown may add to the height. This is how the building looks today:

Last edited by Urbannizer; Nov 30, 2013 at 1:22 AM.
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  #2  
Old Posted Nov 11, 2013, 1:07 PM
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Here's a look at the other option that didn't make it, by Kirksey.


http://swamplot.com/no-the-renovated...is/2013-07-01/
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  #3  
Old Posted Nov 11, 2013, 8:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Swamplot
Redo of Classic ExxonMobil Tower Downtown Will Eat Fins, Fatten Up

AN ENTRY posted over the weekend to the website of Ziegler Cooper Architects indicates that the local firm has won Shorenstein Properties’ invited competition to remake the soon-to-be-former ExxonMobil Building (at right), a prominent, bristly, and standoffish figure on the southern edge of Houston’s Downtown since 1962. The redo, which will be far more extensive than a simple reskinning, removes the most distinctive feature of the building, originally designed by L.A. architects Welton Becket for Humble Oil: the 7-foot-deep shades, cantilevered from marble-clad columns, that help shield sunlight from all but the top of the tower’s 44 stories.

The fate of those sunshades may explain why Shorenstein selected Ziegler Cooper’s design for the building on the block surrounded by Bell, Milam, Travis, and Leeland it bought from ExxonMobil earlier this year : The airspace formerly occupied (and cooled) by the shades won’t just be surrounded by a new glass skin; the newly enclosed area will be swallowed and captured for additional floor space, according to the architects’ drawings and description. That’ll fatten up the floor plates to a now-popular 42-ft. depth and increase the structure’s gross square footage by more than 100,000 sq. ft., to 1.4 million sq. ft.

In place of those unshaded top 2 floors at the top, now home to the Petroleum Club, the new building, referred to now by its address of 800 Bell St., will show off its new fancy light-up forehead. At the base, a new plaza facing Bell St. (above) will at long last tie the building into the downtown tunnel system.

ExxonMobil is currently leasing the building back from Shorenstein; renovations are scheduled to begin in 2015, after the company moves its last downtown employees to its new suburban North Houston campus headquarters.
http://swamplot.com/redo-of-classic-...11/#more-73776
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  #4  
Old Posted Nov 22, 2013, 10:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Urbannizer View Post
This is how the building looks today:
I think I like the lines of the original building better. The remake looks a bit too much like an old-style stereo woofer and appears to have borrowed from the form of the Hess Tower.

But someone will snap it up.
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  #5  
Old Posted Nov 22, 2013, 11:15 PM
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I think they should leave it the way it is.
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  #6  
Old Posted Nov 23, 2013, 3:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by toxteth o'grady View Post
I think I like the lines of the original building better. The remake looks a bit too much like an old-style stereo woofer and appears to have borrowed from the form of the Hess Tower.

But someone will snap it up.
Incidentally, this evening I was watching one of the many JFK specials, and there were shots of the Dallas skyline in 1963, but they mixed in some Houston shots. One was of the above building and the buildings behind it that were present in 1963. Amazing how the media gets things mixed up. Over the years I've seen many cases where skylines are mixed up.

I like the remake of this building a lot, and apparently a lot of Houstonians do, too. But I suspect that they will end up missing the current design, at least those who lived there when it was built. It was a really big deal at the time, and it had a beautiful observation deck.
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Old Posted Nov 23, 2013, 6:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yackemflaber69 View Post
I think they should leave it the way it is.
Me too.
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  #8  
Old Posted Nov 26, 2013, 1:05 AM
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I hope all this development in that area sparks some more growth in that area. That whole area is looking pretty sad now a days.

Now we just need someone to come fix up 2012 main.
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  #9  
Old Posted Nov 27, 2013, 2:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yackemflaber69 View Post
I think they should leave it the way it is.
I like the new look with the multi-facet façade. I thought of the original tower's façade as boring even before any proposal from redevelopment.
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  #10  
Old Posted Nov 27, 2013, 3:48 AM
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I like the original design better also. I'm just a sucker for architectural variety. It's the reason why I stick up for Austin's old boxes. They're an example of architecture from those eras. When I realize and think of the fact that we have few examples of architecture from say the 1930s and wish we had more of them, then I wonder if many more years from now people may look back and wish we had more examples of architecture from the 60s and 70s. While those decades weren't exactly decades with a beautiful style of architecture, they are a historical representation of that era. When I see buildings like the Exxon-Mobil Building in Houston or Dallas' Elm Place, it's neat to think those buildings were being constructed 50 years ago. In Dallas' case Elm Place is especially important since it was under construction the year that JFK was shot in Dallas.

As for the new design, I actually like it a lot. I sort of think the design by Kirksey would have aged better than the one they went with, but this one has a more sleek look to it. I guess the Kirksey design wasn't chosen because it was so close to the original design.
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  #11  
Old Posted Dec 1, 2013, 8:19 AM
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http://www.houstonchronicle.com/life...cmpid=btfpm#/0

Quote:
Is downtown '60s-era architecture worth saving?

By Lisa Gray

December 1, 2013

If the skyscraper pictured on the architecture firm's website were a new building, I wouldn't be upset. Ziegler Cooper's drawings show a shiny glass box with a light-up crown on top. It's not bad-looking; I'd be happy if that building were going to sprout atop one of the surface parking lots that blight the southern part of downtown.

But it's not a new building. Instead, it's an extreme makeover - a modernizing slipcover job proposed for the skyscraper that ExxonMobil will abandon when it moves to the suburbs. The Humble Oil building, as that skyscraper was originally known, would be completely unrecognizable, erased from the skyline.

That's what upsets me. The Humble Oil building is an important skyscraper from Houston's mid-century glory days. It's not just architecturally significant; it's also a place that people loved, a place that made them proud, a place where tourists came to gawk.

Sure, the building needs to be freshened up for new tenants, a new era. But I was hoping for a gentler nip-and-tuck, one that plays up the building's "Mad Men"-era cool - not one that strips away precisely the things that make it great, and leaves a shiny new-looking box where a piece of the city's soul used to be.
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  #12  
Old Posted May 12, 2014, 11:01 PM
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Here's another rendering, open roof:

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  #13  
Old Posted Jun 26, 2014, 6:41 PM
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Last edited by Urbannizer; Sep 14, 2014 at 3:36 AM.
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  #14  
Old Posted Jun 26, 2014, 8:31 PM
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This is just me from up here on Long Island (i.e. maybe not qualified 100% to feel the architectural pulse of a completely different metro area) but...
...the author of the above piece doth protest too much. Were there people in her particular setion of the Fourth Estate similarly decrying the "eventual death of 'when-men-were-men' building design" when during the '80's oil boom years they were putting up highrises that back in the day were considered (at least by conservative critics) almost wildly ahead of their time in terms of form and shape? I wist not unless proven otherwise.
To be honest, I don't care if it's Houston, Dallas, LA or even New York. '60's highrise design was given the title of Brutalist for a reason. This building's original façade is quintessentially so, and I really must admit to not being too sad to see it go.
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Old Posted Jun 27, 2014, 2:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JayPro View Post
This is just me from up here on Long Island (i.e. maybe not qualified 100% to feel the architectural pulse of a completely different metro area) but...
...the author of the above piece doth protest too much. Were there people in her particular setion of the Fourth Estate similarly decrying the "eventual death of 'when-men-were-men' building design" when during the '80's oil boom years they were putting up highrises that back in the day were considered (at least by conservative critics) almost wildly ahead of their time in terms of form and shape? I wist not unless proven otherwise.
To be honest, I don't care if it's Houston, Dallas, LA or even New York. '60's highrise design was given the title of Brutalist for a reason. This building's original façade is quintessentially so, and I really must admit to not being too sad to see it go.
I guess I have mixed feelings. I like the new design but more and more, I feel nostalgic about the early 60s version of the building. Incidentally, my best buddy is from Huntington, near you.
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Old Posted Jun 27, 2014, 8:35 AM
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