Pennzoil Place

Pennzoil Place,  Houston, Texas

This headquarters built for Pennzoil and the Zapata Oil Company exhibits a striking design that marked a turning point in the evolution of the office tower as a building type. In lieu of the predictable glass box, two towers in the shape of trapezoids mirror each other and sit next to one another by a mere 10 feet.. The tops of the buildings are not cut off in the usual fashion, flat against the sky, but rather silhouette a strong diagonal massing. Clad in a curtain wall of bronze colored glass and anodized bronze aluminum, Pennzoil Place is a striking contrast to Houston’s skyline.

The two identical towers that make up Pennzoil Place rise 495 feet and have 34 levels each. Pennzoil Place contains a total gross area of 1.7 million square feet, of which 1.2 million square feet is rentable office space and commercial space. Each typical floor contains 20,500 square feet.

The street level area between the two towers is enclosed within a sloping glass roof creating a space that rises approximately 117 feet or eight stories to its apex. Principal entrances into the complex are through these glass courtyards. There are approximately 50,000 square feet of retail space in this project. At the Mall level, a shopping area provides a variety of shops and services. Space is also allocated for a restaurant to serve the occupants of Pennzoil Place during the day and theater-goers at nearby theaters during the evening.

Pennzoil Place was an early project done for Hines. It was the beginning of a very long professional relationship that produced more than a dozen signature projects for this Houston-based developer.

Client: Gerald D. Hines Interests
Completion Date: 1976
Area: 1,500,000 square feet

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