1001 W. Wilshire
1001 W. Wilshire

Project Completed: 2004

Location: 1001 Wilshire., Oklahoma City, OK

Project Type: Corporate/Office

Square Footage: 48,000 sq. ft.

Photographer: Gray City Studios

A Finely Tailored Building

Shortly after it was built, a well-known and highly accomplished Oklahoma fine arts leader remarked that this building, 1001 Wilshire, reminded her of “an Armani suit.” It was an apt description for this distinctive, finely tailored structure.

Its handsome exterior suits the owner — a prominent philanthropist and arts figure who resides

in New York City and OKC — and it projects a fitting image for the business conducted inside. Success here grew from the client’s request for a “modern master” concept to enhance and anchor a city corner as a “gateway” to an affluent residential neighborhood.

Careful site planning, Architecture and a signature sculpture would be key.

Designed for Energy Efficiency

Being responsive to energy costs was a priority achieved by carefully managing sun control, insulated glass, and the proportion of glass to mass for each exposed surface. The south roof overhang puts the entire south face in shade during the hottest times of the year. It also allows winter sun to heat the building.

And in fact, each facade responds to the appropriate sun exposure. The main entry responds to weather by creating protection from the hot south sun, from cold north wind and by providing shade and breezes for visitors.

Another directive was creating a “wall building” that responds to the shallow and wide site. Parking was removed from the primary street frontage to establish a “front yard.” Hedge walls were also important to hide the cars from the street and the street from the parking lot.

Rethinking the Office Building

The “givens” for speculative office buildings were rethought to eliminate the central elevator lobby and place the elevator on the perimeter. This was done to provide a view and sunlight upon arrival on each level. A glass corridor substitutes for a lobby that allows people movement to be seen within the building. (The standard building components were to be unique and spatially interesting.)

A private roof deck offers views of downtown OKC. The toilets are clean and artful and the stairs act as a “vertical art gallery.” Full height glass slits are provided in the fire stair to offer natural light in a typically forgotten space. At night, the slits are illuminated within and emphasize the vertical fins. For the traffic awaiting a green light at this busy corner, art is placed in the south-facing glass corridors. Think of it as a “drive-by” showing.

We think Mr. Armani would be pleased.

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