Last month, LOCAL Houston magazine was on hand as the office space of the future – DesignHive by Brookfield – was revealed at 1600 Smith St. (Longtime Houstonians will remember this building as the former Continental Airlines Center).
Relaxation rooms. A combo barista/receptionista area. Communal workspaces. Soundproof curtains. Even classic video game machines. Yep, they’re all there. And more.
This innovative spec suite design project features the ideas of Gensler, Inventure Design, Rottet Studio and Ziegler Cooper. Brookfield challenged these four award-winning firms to design four unique and trend-setting suites – ranging from 2,800sf to 4,200sf – in order to meet the ever-changing needs of modern space users, as well as bring to focus the flexibility and collaboration that can be achieved in a high-rise environment.
Overall, the project aims to broaden the spectrum of potential tenants to downtown Houston – to attract non-traditional “TAMI” tenants (Technology, Advertising, Media and Information), who may not have considered Downtown a viable option before.
“DesignHive was built around a team of architects, and our selection process was simple yet crucial to the success of the program: We identified the top four leaders of the Houston design space, who also exhibited the capability of creating a truly innovative product. We wanted to work with the best-of-the-best and luckily all four were up for the task,” said Paul Frazier, Executive Vice President and head of the Houston Region for Brookfield. Each firm was given the same design challenge: leverage their unique talents and vision to explore and create a progressive workplace environment within the set budget.
“We saw this as a great opportunity for the firms to bring a completely fresh vision to 1600 Smith. The tower’s rich history will remain ever-present; but through new eyes, DesignHive will reimagine each spaces’ design potential, and attract tenants that may not have considered the iconic tower previously,” said Frazier.
With competition for high-quality employees at an all-time high, more companies are seeking office space in amenity and culturally rich urban centers. DesignHive will be a catalyst in driving new talent, creatives, technology projects, entrepreneurs, etc., to Downtown, adding to the vibrancy and long-term sustainability of our city center.
For more information, visit www.DesignHivebyBrookfield.com.
Editor’s note: Within seven days of the project reveal, Ziegler Cooper’s suite was leased by the University of Houston’s RED Labs and Rice University’s OwlSpark. The two accelerator programs will utilize the space to host, in tandem, their 12-week summer programs that provide startup teams with firsthand experience in launching a tech startup.