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Joaquin

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  1. Here's some more information on the One Shell Plaza (some of which may be restated) covering some of the history of the building. This reply is simply to fufil the requirements of an assignment in my History of Design course- critcisms are much appreciated! The One Shell Plaza is a modernist’s skyscraper completed in 1971 shortly after Houston’s construction boom. It serves as the global headquarters for the Royal Dutch Shell oil company, and it was designed by Skidmore, Owings and Merrill (SOM) architectural firm to be used for commercial office spaces. It facilitates several other companies’ headquarters such as the law firm Baker Bots and the private Houston Club. Its interior spaces create a firm definition between public and private spaces and is clear in its partitions throughout the building’s halls. Upon its completion, One Shell Plaza was the tallest skyscraper in Houston and the tallest poured concrete building in the world, and it became recognized as an energy capital of the world with its major tenant being Royal Dutch Shell. Its height reached 715 ft. tall and with the antenna the building reached a flush 1000 ft. With the antenna atop the Plaza, radio stations were able to efficiently broadcast signals across Houston. The building cost a sum of 39 million dollars to construct and another 65 million to renovate both One and Two Shell Plaza in 1991 rather than investing in a third building. In June 16, 1994 One Shell Plaza was connected to Wells Fargo Plaza through the underground tunnel system of Houston. The modernist approach to its design (that was popular throughout the mid-1900s) gives the structure a simplified appearance with a gradual progression in the window structures. Afar the building appears white and plain; however, its exterior is encased in a white marble imported from Italy, Rome. SOM, the firm that designed the Plaza, strives for a modern international-style of design in their works and they achieve this though the Plaza’s design. SOM strove for a practical “less is more” design with the building lending the structure more allowance for the implementation of energy efficient systems. After its renovation, the One Shell Plaza became a Gold Leed certified structure through its practicality and “skin and bones” type of architecture. With the main program of the building being a commercial office space for Royal Dutch Shell Headquarters, One Shell Plaza demands a certain level of security to its interior spaces. Its simplified form allows for basic glass partitions to separate public from private-commercial spaces. These partitions along with security were heavily enforced after the 9/11 incident in New York, for the One Shell Plaza is considered a global energy capital as the headquarters for Shell. Overall, the One Shell Plaza has broken several records in Houston and around the world in its history and is globally recognized as one of the few energy capitals of the world.
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