The 40,000-SF building relocates the Endowment’s private office space from the JPMorgan Chase Tower downtown, a space that was not representative of their organization’s identity. Kevin Daly Architecture and Mexico-based Productora envisioned the building’s airy, elegant superstructure with TLS Landscape Architecture and Transsolar, a German engineering company specializing in energy-efficient architecture.
The Endowment is an almost net-zero building with its shaded canopy. 80 percent of the building is covered in solar panels allowing more natural light to enter the patio while powering the building with natural energy. The building also features a unique geothermal HVAC system. Interior fans placed throughout the building lower the need for air conditioning. Purposefully designed to be inviting, the building is bright and light. Its sculptured exterior of curved aluminum panels is combined with a unique trellised canopy made of rows of 3D ovals of perforated metal, angled to filter harsh sunlight while still allowing soft breezes to sift through. The white exterior and canopy both reduce the latent heat of the building’s exterior, limiting the need for air conditioning. The structural frame uses a combination of steel framing and cross-laminated timber (CLT), all of which are exposed inside to weave the theme of transparency throughout the building. The CLT panels were installed with precision and serve as a grounding yet beautiful ceiling treatment.
The new two-story building focuses on collaborative workspaces, more small conference rooms for meetings and even small enclosed “zoom rooms” for workers who need to make video calls. The new building furthers the Endowment’s mission in its design, structure, and meaning. The Houston Endowment now has a space that mirrors their commitment to “support organizations and improve the systems that benefit the people of Greater Houston” as well as being responsible stewards of the environment.