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This building was postponed indefinitely due to a downturn in the national economy. Then of course the land that it was to be built on was sold, meaning that any reincarnation of the project will take place somewhere else and would probably include a different design.

It's too bad, though, as I thought it was a very intriguing design.

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  • 2 years later...

8gixte9.jpg

AIM Corporate Headquarters

Houston, Texas

2,200,000 gsf

Client: AIM

Architect of Record: HKS, Inc.

AIM commissioned Pickard Chilton to design their headquarters complex on a prominent site in Houston. The new facility will serve multiple business needs and create a powerful identity for the company on the city's skyline. We designed a nearly 40-story tower with an exterior curtainwall which curves inward as it rises to the sky, emphasizing the building's verticality and defining a unique silhouette on the Houston skyline. Articulate corners and a central spine give further visual interest and reinforce the tower's reach towards the sky.

The building's taut skin incorporates horizontal blades that act as sunshades and give texture to the floor-to-ceiling clear glass curtainwall. The typical office floor features 10-foot high ceilings which introduces an exceptional amount of daylight into the working environment.

The tower rises adjacent to a podium structure and 4000-car parking garage. The main entry is located under a crystalline glass cube that opens into a dramatic, multi-story, light-filled atrium.

The complex accommodates all office functions, a high-tech trading floor, training center, auditorium, cafeteria, fitness center and retail space. The lower podium structure wraps around the site to create an intimate courtyard garden for employees and visitors.

This is the same firm designing Main Place, and I like both. These aren't buildings that'll be invisible. The curtainwall/sunshade sounds cool. I bet the pigeons will think so too. :)

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AIM cancelled this (very attractive) plan because of the downturn that followed Enron.

A shopping center and apartment complex have just been completed on the spot.

Yeah, took a look on the way home... It's the new center with the Forshey Piano and the Camden property on the back half.

So nice building, but not happening !!!

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I doubt it, but maybe this plan could stay alive, but just in a different location. It wasn't married to this spot, was it? Plus, times are good again, right? We're way beyond Enron.

Thats why I asked...just found this forum recently. I figured as much and thanks for the update! I guess Packard Chilton just needs to do the same.
Welcome. And just for FYI sake, check out this link. It'll be a great resource for ya, especially as a newbie.
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What a tragedy! This building would've been gorgeous. Perhaps it can be resurrected and physically manifested downtown in the future. AWWWWWWWWWW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I'm privy to the same sort of optimism as lockmat. Here's hoping [cross fingers].

Has anyone checked with AIM lately on what their future plans are? AIM is a large international Houston company and the fact that they commissioned a firm to design a building meant that they were in need of more office space at one point. The mutual fund industry has been doing pretty well the past couple of years (the last weeks excluded) so maybe this project may be reincarnated in some other form. Hopefully, the renaissance downtown would have persuaded them to build their new building there. Or maybe they plan on being a major tenant in one of the new towers going up but that 'dead' design would look very good downtown. I'm just speculating here but imagine seeing that building near disco green. It would be a stunning backdrop.

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This would have been 150 ft taller (a third taller) than anything on the Southwest Freeway. Pickard Chilton has since recycled the design into 1180 Peachtree, of which Atlantans are vastly proud. Unless AIM desperately needed local advertising and thought architecture and operations costs were the most effective way of achieving it, though, I don't see why they would need to go high-rise to get large contiguous space. The extra construction cost is just not needed; after all, aside from there being no ground shortage, if lifestyle centers are the death of the indoor mall for shoppers then why won't the same generation of corporate slaves want to be in a midrise neighborhood where their stylish office complex anchors blocks above the ceilings of convenient retail streetwall and nice streetscape, like a cross between Rice Village and downtown Washington, D.C., instead of being in freewayfront sealed towers like this one -- sitting a car ride and parking search away from life outside of the 'indoor mall' that is the work environment of the late twentieth century Class A office model?

Neil

Edited by strickn
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1_Symphony_Tower.jpg

Kind of looks like the new 657ft Symphony Tower that just completed construction in Atlanta.

Just completed? That thing is almost four years old, but I get what you are saying. They borrowed some of the designs from the AIM Corporate HQ.

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This would have been 150 ft taller (a third taller) than anything on the Southwest Freeway. Pickard Chilton has since recycled the design into 1180 Peachtree, of which Atlantans are vastly proud. Unless AIM desperately needed local advertising and thought architecture and operations costs were the most effective way of achieving it, though, I don't see why they would need to go high-rise to get large contiguous space. The extra construction cost is just not needed; after all, aside from there being no ground shortage, if lifestyle centers are the death of the indoor mall for shoppers then why won't the same generation of corporate slaves want to be in a midrise neighborhood where their stylish office complex anchors blocks above the ceilings of convenient retail streetwall and nice streetscape, like a cross between Rice Village and downtown Washington, D.C., instead of being in freewayfront sealed towers like this one -- sitting a car ride and parking search away from life outside of the 'indoor mall' that is the work environment of the late twentieth century Class A office model?

Neil

Big firms that take hundreds of thousands of square feet at a time have a strong tendency to prefer operating in a single building, taking entire floorplates at a time on contiguous floors of a building. Doing so provides them easier access to all of their divisions, better security, more flexibility in how they use space, lower operating costs, and oftentimes naming rights. It doesn't always work out that way, especially in tight office markets, but that's the idea. Some large firms settle with suburban campuses, but that is because it is a low-cost alternative.

Besides, anyone who claims that there is "no ground shortage" clearly hasn't tried to purchase any recently. Prices would indicate otherwise.

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aim sold the land to camden several years ago for +/- $40 psf.

and as niche stated above, there is a houston land shortage.. hence the reason why some dirt prices have exploded within the last few years.

for example, just 3 years ago, you could not justify $70 psf on kirby. today, it could be done at $100+ with your eyes closed.

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aim sold the land to camden several years ago for +/- $40 psf.

and as niche stated above, there is a houston land shortage.. hence the reason why some dirt prices have exploded within the last few years.

for example, just 3 years ago, you could not justify $70 psf on kirby. today, it could be done at $100+ with your eyes closed.

What does this land shortage mean for the long run? More demo's inside the loop on the west side? More development moving west? Or development heading east?

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What does this land shortage mean for the long run? More demo's inside the loop on the west side? More development moving west? Or development heading east?

Increasing land prices are an indicator of future densification. It means that developers are financially able to do deals that spread out the land costs among its users.

And yes, that means more demolition, and yes it means means more development in every direction.

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Big firms that take hundreds of thousands of square feet at a time have a strong tendency to prefer operating in a single building, taking entire floorplates at a time on contiguous floors of a building. Doing so provides them easier access to all of their divisions, better security, more flexibility in how they use space, lower operating costs, and oftentimes naming rights. It doesn't always work out that way, especially in tight office markets, but that's the idea. Some large firms settle with suburban campuses, but that is because it is a low-cost alternative.

Besides, anyone who claims that there is "no ground shortage" clearly hasn't tried to purchase any recently. Prices would indicate otherwise.

I know Houston, but those big firms are looking at a national landscape of real estate, too.

I live in Boston, where a downtown parking garage with air rights just went under contract for $155M.

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