Turtle Creek Features Sleek, Transparent Cable Tension Walls
The importance of planning and design cannot be over emphasized when constructing a massive office campus– even in Texas. The design of the new corporate campus for the Perot Companies, which manages the prominent Texas family’s various businesses, focuses on community and collaboration at an important urban site. Ultimately, the new campus is designed to address not only changing forces in the climate and site, but also changing forces in the industry. The project consists of two three-story buildings totaling 200,000 square feet over structured below-grade parking that can accommodate 430 cars. Rising nearly 60 feet, the concrete-frame building is organized into two 100-foot-wide office wings, with a central connector space that affords direct access to the adjacent landscape. The structure is clad with glass and limestone, inspired by the water and exposed rock of the creek bed that runs along the site.
Located on busy Turtle Creek Boulevard just north of downtown Dallas, the three-story project is on a property that had long been eyed by developers for high-rise development. Turtle Creek is a top-tier creekside, infill development location with a rare six acres zoned for 1.5 million square feet of residential, hotel, or Class “A” office use. Its central position includes good transit options and offers employees shorter commute times than the company’s current locations. The six-acre parcel is encircled by Turtle Creek and the popular Katy Trail, a multiple-user recreation greenway that connects the Turtle Creek residential and commercial neighborhood to the larger Dallas community and downtown.
Developers Hillwood and the Perot Families selected Mithun, a Seattle and San Francisco–based deep-green integrated architectural firm, to design the new campus, along with Dallas-based BOKA Powell, architect of record, and Dallas and London-based Balfour Beatty Construction to build the project. The new Perot headquarters is specifically-designed to enhance collaboration and communication. Essential to that idea is the three-story, glass-enclosed, 5,500-square-foot central space, providing an inviting, open connection between the two office wings. Other high-performance building and site strategies include daylight harvesting through a high-performance curtain wall glazing system, use of eco-friendly materials, and preservation of a significant amount of existing foliage.
The team entrusted the experts at W&W Glass for the design and engineering of two large Pilkington Planar™ point-supported structural glass cable tension walls installed by Oak Cliff Mirror and Glass. The key to the stability and aesthetics were massive vertical walls at the main lobby and the atrium stair area. Systems like this require a very strong perimeter boundary structure of steel or concrete to resolve the tension forces imposed on it. With cables directly behind the joints of the glass, ultimate transparency is achieved as compared to other structural glass systems requiring deep steel or glass members for support. The face glass used on Turtle Creek was a clear low-e-coated insulating glass with HP 69/37 coating on the number two surface to meet the values for the mechanical systems performance. The units were fastened with Pilkington Planar™ 905 series flush, countersunk stainless steel fittings and customized clamped “longhorn” rods to vertical stainless steel tension cables. These areas provide large open spaces and give unobstructed views of the creekside park, the Oak Lawn neighborhood, and Uptown Dallas’ growing skyline.
Like many urban centers, Dallas experiences the effects of climate change, with recent record rains and storms having a significant impact on low-lying site parcels. With the surging waters of Turtle Creek adjacent to the site, the project team created building and landscape elements that respond to this threat. The development and the design teams worked with site hydrology experts to finesse needed building and site elements to minimize creek flow obstructions during storms, and the landscape creates large infiltration and open areas to help deal with stormwater surges. The building itself is carefully situated to accommodate 500-year storm events.
As is the case with many new corporate buildings, key executive offices are integrated into the office space instead of being located in a commanding top-floor penthouse, making leadership more accessible and directly connected with the rest of the team. The need and desired outcome was to bring together the 250 staff members from Hillwood’s offices in the Victory Park and Uptown areas near downtown Dallas and Perot Group’s suburban location in Plano. It appears the project was quite successful in this feat and was even named in Interior Design magazine as “Best of Year” Finalist for 2017.
W&W Glass LLC is a family-owned business with a 70-year history in the metal and glass industry, one of the largest metal and glass companies in the New York metropolitan area and the largest supplier of structural glass systems in the country. We have over two decades of experience in the design and installation of various building enclosure systems, including stick-built curtain walls, pre-glazed unitized curtain walls, Pilkington Planar™ structural glass facades, and custom metal and glass enclosure systems. We install all of our work with our own dedicated union labor force. W&W Glass is consistently the largest employer of glaziers in the NY metropolitan area. W&W Glass is located at 302 Airport Executive Park, Nanuet, NY 10954-5285