GSA Office Building | Houston, Texas

  • The design of the GSA Office Building is generated by integration of concerns for security, sustainability, and image.  The building is sited to maximize environmental sensitivity, promote daylighting, and provide for solar energy capture. The plan is purposefully narrow, presenting broad faces to the south and north, and thin faces to the east and west.
  • A lightweight metal frame is hung off concrete walls as a “second skin” for the building. Heavily fritted laminated glass, placed away from the thermal wall of the building, shades the structure from direct sunlight. Space between the two skins becomes a cooled microclimate. Apertures in the glass skin are placed to provide daylighting with reduced glare for interior spaces. The high performance skin of the building is employed as a major image generator. The aluminum shingles provide a bright backdrop on which to project the changing light and shadow patterns from the glass skin.