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the initial space //

Brookfield Properties engaged Gensler to redesign and renovate their 20,000 square foot lobby. The existing space featured a single, expansive room accessed from the elevator bank and staircase coming from the street level. Various seating areas were arranged for infrequent tenant and guest use.

McCoy Rockford bid the open line project while also offering a single source solution: providing alternatives that were manufactured by Steelcase and others in the Steelcase Partner Network. Supplying a side by side comparison, McCoy Rockford compared initial products as specified by Gensler and alternates that were similar and true to the design intent. McCoy Rockford’s ability to bundle these different products under one manufacturing umbrella offered the client greater discounts and a more controlled schedule.

 

objectives //

  • Redesign building lobby to entice both tenant and public usage
    • Convert one open area to offer a variety of spaces for different purposes
    • Activate a typically passive space 

 

services rendered //

  • Design Support
  • Project Management
  • Asset Management & Storage
  • Installation
Location

Houston Center
Houston, Texas

Architect

Gensler

BUILDER

Harvey-Cleary

Size

20,000 sq. ft. (three connected building lobbies)

Industry

Commercial Real Estate

Featured Manufacturers

Steelcase
Steelcase Partners

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the design //

The objective was to redesign and outfit the lobby so it looked different than any other space downtown and offered amenities that were not previously available — both to incentivize potential tenants and encouraged people to go to the lobby, linger and more thoughtfully use the space. 

McCoy Rockford was heavily involved in the design phase, and working closely with Gensler, specified products to support the overall design. Following a Scandinavian feel, classic, modern seating options and tables in neutral colors, earthy tones and wood finishes were selected. Pops of color were brought in by the mixture of fabrics and leathers, in addition to multiple art features and a moss wall installation.  

 

“Leveraging the McCoy Rockford showroom and library, we were able to preview products and sit down with the architect and fine tune the fabrics and finishes. We also created renderings so the client could visualize how all the pieces fit together and within their vision.”
—Michele Mitchell, Project Designer

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the furnishings //

The entire space was outfitted with Steelcase or Steelcase Partner Network manufacturer furnishings and demonstrates product functionality and versatility. Unlike a typical lobby, 2 Houston Center was redesigned to provide options and uses furniture as an architectural way to separate space. 

The elevator opens to a large living room-like space with various seating areas complete with occasional tables. In addition to a series of round tables and chairs that promote two to three person meetings, the space offers booth-like, two to four-person sheltered conference tables, and around the corner another section features large café height tables. Larger conference rooms and pods are also available for private meetings.

Technology was just as important as the physical furnishings in the lobby. Access to power was a priority, not just in conference tables, but in occasional and meeting tables and collaborative and lounge spaces so people can plug in their accessories anywhere. 

featured products //

Orangebox Air Pod: This freestanding conference room for 12 people features self-enclosed walls. The louvered ceiling automatically closes once the door shuts for a private setting in a normally open lobby. 

Steelcase Thread: The lobby had granite floors that couldn’t be cored for typical power solutions, so McCoy Rockford recommended Thread Thin Profile as an alternative. Coming from the walls and sitting on top of the granite, Thread provides power sources throughout the space while being discreetly hidden under the carpeting.

“What I like most about the solutions we recommended is the variety of opportunities, from counter height tables with stools, to a meeting height tables with chairs, to soft lounge seating around occasional tables.”
—Kim Bishop, Vice President, Strategic Accounts

the results //

The lobby was transformed with interactive and inviting furnishings. Going beyond a typical waiting area, the space now functions as a meeting and gathering space enabling tenants and guests to conduct business at the ground level. The lobby is more usable for anyone and gives additional space with access to power and privacy.