Jump to content

What Would You Ask Richard Keating?


Recommended Posts

Richard Keating, of SOM fame, stopped by the Houston Architecture Info web site a couple of weeks ago and left behind a little trail of e-mails. I thought I might respond to them with a collection of questions from the HAIF readers.

For those of you who don't know, Keating is the man behind Wells Fargo Plaza, El Paso Energy Building, CenterPoint Energy Tower, and San Felipe Plaza.

So, post your questions here and I'll put a bunch together and send them out to him interview style. If we're lucky, maybe he'll write back!

Link to post
Share on other sites

Is there a chasm between collegiate architectural curriculum and the actual practice of architecture? If so, what recommendations would you give a student to prepare them for the profession?

Is the need and/or desire for licensed architects on the rise or decline? What segments (residential, commercial, government, education, religious, etc) of development/building are seeing an increase or decrease? Why?

Contrast and compare European, Asian and US perception of architecture, as well as what is being built in these regions and why.

Are the differences economical, social, philosophical?

Is Frank Lloyd Wright overrated?

Is our lack of zoning (in Houston) a factor in the banal structures we see popping up everywhere?

Is no zoning a good thing?

What is your favorite book? What are you reading now, if any?

If you enjoy music, what is in your CD/mp3 player presently?

What inspired you to study/practice architecture?

Have you ever made a pilgrimage to visit a specific structure?

Is there any structure that you've been in that it was difficult to leave?

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 3 weeks later...

gehry, calatrava, hadid, piano, lake, flato, moneo, graves, etc. (in fact, lake/flato might be a promising start. they are region-specific and might be more inclined to give us the time of day.....)

doesn't really have to be a starchitect. local and successful architects would be fun.

the more centered the focus of HAIF and glass, steel and stone becomes around the culture of architecture is a win win situation.

Link to post
Share on other sites

That was great. Thanks for adding it. I would really like to see ten questions with local architects, because that might let them more deeply explore issues like the lack of zoning, locally appropriate architecture, and the influence on architecture and development of the local transit infrastructure.

Link to post
Share on other sites

lake/flato is great. good choice editor!

questions:

1. what are the liabilities owning or managing sustainable structures such as additional mechanical/maintenance expenses, human comfort level, etc.? if any, how are these negatives recouped, and are they recouped in the long/short term?

2. how do you feel about mass production builders like perry homes? why aren't there better alternatives for the home buying public?

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 6 years later...

Loved the questions for Richard Keating and the answers, any more on this from other architects? Lake/Flato or others?

I intended to make this a regular feature, but it got pushed to the bottom of the pile. I'll make an effort to reach out and make this happen with some more architects.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 8 years later...

Hi All,

 

Did anyone ask Richard Keating if Allied Bank Plaza (AKA Wells Fargo Plaza), was meant to be an abstract $, or just 2 semi-circles. I know on the HAI it says 2 semi-circles, claiming KHOU and other local rumors have it wrong, but is there a source for this? The link to Glass Steel and Stone is no longer.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 4 months later...

I would like our valiant editor to ask Keating if he knew from blueprints that 1000 Louisiana was taller than 600 Travis, and just kept it impishly to himself all these years.
 

 I'm afraid Austin's Rainey Street building proposals, if they get out of the ground, won't accidentally build a few feet shy of the tallest mark.

Sources, of course:

600 Travis used to be measured from the ground as 1,006' but had to be remeasured from the lowest public outdoor entrance, four feet higher (the three basements beneath the raised plaza and four beneath the tower lack outdoor public entrances other than loading docks and the like, which are not officially counted), for 1,002'

1000 Louisiana, starting from the same terrain level of about 50' elevation, is officially measured from the tunnel level because the plaza has outdoor entrances accessible by public stairs.  Its recorded height of 992' starts from about 20' below street level.  But government records show that the top of its penthouse is 999' above ground.  

For instance when it received a 14' temporary antenna on top in 1984, it reached 1,063' above mean sea level, 1,013' above the 50' site elevation, with the building being all but 14' of that.  Other records typically run within a foot of this figure; moving from the FAA in 1984 to the FCC in 2005, for instance, we have a report of 304.8m or 999.99'.  
 

Adding a recorded 14.9m or 48.88' above mean sea level, this time, their rooftop without antennae is at a total height of 319.7m or 1,048.87' above mean sea level, again very close to the comparison 1,049'.

...Whether we use 999 or 999.99, we have to add the height from the official starting point at about 29' or 30' above mean sea level where the public entrances are.  For comparison, CTBUH took away 18' from the World Almanac height of Dallas' tallest tower because its pedestrian tunnel plaza level didn't have outdoor access from street level; it is a private patio court but not a primary entrance.  They did not do so from 1000 Louisiana.
So it means that we can accurately answer the first HAI rhetorical question

"But does the tower's essential subterranean element count towards this goal, and would it change the ranking?"
 

The answer is that it already is being measured, and does count officially; the real question is why they are not already officially including the oval, teal colored, integral penthouse of Wells Fargo Plaza in the measurement figure, which would total somewhere between 1,019 and 1,021.  It was never intended to be able to be replaced or changed independently of the rest of the architectural design it is part of;  it should be clear that it was not a mechanical tack-on.  Rectifying this oversight would answer the second HAI question, and would change an additional ranking error as well -- the Library Tower in Los Angeles, built 1,018' tall to eclipse 600 Travis, was never tallest west of the Mississippi River 1989-2016.

Have a good Friday evening.

Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, strickn said:

I would like our valiant editor to ask Keating if he knew from blueprints that 1000 Louisiana was taller than 600 Travis, and just kept it impishly to himself all these years.
 

 I'm afraid Austin's Rainey Street building proposals, if they get out of the ground, won't accidentally build a few feet shy of the tallest mark.

Sources, of course:

600 Travis used to be measured from the ground as 1,006' but had to be remeasured from the lowest public outdoor entrance, four feet higher (the three basements beneath the raised plaza and four beneath the tower lack outdoor public entrances other than loading docks and the like, which are not officially counted), for 1,002'

1000 Louisiana, starting from the same terrain level of about 50' elevation, is officially measured from the tunnel level because the plaza has outdoor entrances accessible by public stairs.  Its recorded height of 992' starts from about 20' below street level.  But government records show that the top of its penthouse is 999' above ground.  

For instance when it received a 14' temporary antenna on top in 1984, it reached 1,063' above mean sea level, 1,013' above the 50' site elevation, with the building being all but 14' of that.  Other records typically run within a foot of this figure; moving from the FAA in 1984 to the FCC in 2005, for instance, we have a report of 304.8m or 999.99'.  
 

Adding a recorded 14.9m or 48.88' above mean sea level, this time, their rooftop without antennae is at a total height of 319.7m or 1,048.87' above mean sea level, again very close to the comparison 1,049'.

...Whether we use 999 or 999.99, we have to add the height from the official starting point at about 29' or 30' above mean sea level where the public entrances are.  For comparison, CTBUH took away 18' from the World Almanac height of Dallas' tallest tower because its pedestrian tunnel plaza level didn't have outdoor access from street level; it is a private patio court but not a primary entrance.  They did not do so from 1000 Louisiana.
So it means that we can accurately answer the first HAI rhetorical question

"But does the tower's essential subterranean element count towards this goal, and would it change the ranking?"
 

The answer is that it already is being measured, and does count officially; the real question is why they are not already officially including the oval, teal colored, integral penthouse of Wells Fargo Plaza in the measurement figure, which would total somewhere between 1,019 and 1,021.  It was never intended to be able to be replaced or changed independently of the rest of the architectural design it is part of;  it should be clear that it was not a mechanical tack-on.  Rectifying this oversight would answer the second HAI question, and would change an additional ranking error as well -- the Library Tower in Los Angeles, built 1,018' tall to eclipse 600 Travis, was never tallest west of the Mississippi River 1989-2016.

Have a good Friday evening.

Wells Fargo Plaza is not measured from the tunnel level.  Its recorded height of 992' starts at street level and includes the "oval, teal colored, integral penthouse".  https://www.skyscrapercenter.com/building/wells-fargo-plaza/493

Re:  the "government records" that show the top of the penthouse at 999'. I've noticed those FAA filings often file for a slightly greater height than they actually need.

Edited by Houston19514
Link to post
Share on other sites

I was wrong in that I just found where CTBUH says they don't generally count entrances below grade as significant since the building entrance ought to bring the public to elevators that permit access to higher floors.  Rather than to GFR storefront spaces and that sort of self-contained thing (the 30 Rock entrance to and from the ice rink comes to mind).  But if Dallas' and Houston's unusual system of ped tunnels mean that elevator lobbies are present on both levels, or even that elevator cabs have double-decks to serve two elevator lobbies at once, then in these sorts of cases, by the SkyscraperCenter logic, an outdoor entrance admitting visitors from the Lousiana Street plaza to that space is the lowest outdoor door to measure from.  
 

992' is not because the CTBUH staff went back and double checked their listings for correctness before making a line diagram;  this figure pre-dates their mid-1990s invention of the official definitions, since it was appearing in World Almanacs for years before then.  It probably just hasn't ever been remeasured according to the uniform reporting standards (which, within 2 to 3 years of their invention, infamously made the world's tallest buildings ones that were visibly less tall in all but rulebook than Sears Tower, 1WTC and John Hancock too.)

Edited by strickn
Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...


×
×
  • Create New...