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Chamberlain Hrdlicka completes renovation of Downtown Houston Headquarters at Allen Center

February 28, 2024

Houston Office of Chamberlain Hrdlicka buildout is completed and new furniture is installed

Chamberlain Hrdlicka recently completed the approximately $6 million renovation of its Houston headquarters at Two Allen Center, Brookfield-owned office tower located at 1200 Smith Street in downtown Houston. The growth-driven, extensive renovation has transformed Chamberlain Hrdlicka's office space into a modern, inviting, collaborative environment designed to foster teamwork, training and mentoring, and elevate the overall employee experience.

Chamberlain Hrdlicka brought together a diverse design committee, including shareholders, associates and staff to ensure the new space reflects the firm's culture of excellence and collaboration in a value-driven manner. Architecture, design and planning firm Gensler, along with commercial construction company O’Donnell Snider, collaborated closely to bring the vision to life, with support from Cushman & Wakefield team, led by Tim Relyea, David Guion and David Endelman, who also assisted with the lease extension.

“With our office lease extension in 2022 came a vision for a refreshed workplace and an elevated experience for Chamberlain Hrdlicka’s team members,” said John Meredith, Chief Operating Officer for Chamberlain Hrdlicka. “The recent Allen Center campus renovations and added amenities created an inviting work environment for our team, clients and visitors. Renovating our office further enriches our employees’ experience and takes our culture of excellence and collaboration to the next level.”

Key highlights of the renovation include:

New Monumental Staircase: A stunning internal staircase now connects previously separate 13th and 14th floors, to foster collaboration and improve office flow. This architectural centerpiece serves as a conduit for enhanced interaction among employees and visitors.

Maximizing Daylight: The renovation prioritized maximizing natural light throughout the workspace. All external offices were designed with glass walls, creating a brighter and more inviting workspace especially for those on the inside areas. Emphasis on access to daylight  extends to communal spaces and seating areas, encouraging interactions and idea-sharing.

State-of-the-Art AV Equipment: State-of-the-art audiovisual equipment - including a dedicated “Zoom Room” - facilitates seamless remote collaboration between offices and enhances client service.

Communal Spaces: Redesigned communal areas include The Terrace – a café–inspired break room surrounded by plants to create an outdoor dining experience; four new conference rooms; and the redesigned, open-concept visitor lobby with several sitting areas for enhanced collaboration. The firm intends to use the spacious reception area for community events, as part of its commitment to giving back to Houston.

Environmental Impact: The renovation had a minimal environmental impact through the design team’s ability to leverage existing architecture. The improved layout was achieved by surgically removing design barriers such as outdated ceiling beams and opening enclosed spaces, keeping waste at a minimum.

Wellness: Thanks to the natural light, plants have been incorporated throughout the office, including breakrooms, conference rooms, and the visitor lobby to improve air quality, reduce stress, and enhance employees’ well-being. Acoustic properties were also considered. In addition to updating the existing Mother’s Room, a Wellness Room for work breaks was added with a reclining sofa from Gallery Furniture. Sit-to-stand desks and other ergonomic furniture pieces, provided and installed by Steelcase and McCoy Rockford, provide comfort and support health.

Sound Engineering: To eliminate noise pollution, sound engineers installed a sound masking system that absorbs, blocks, and covers disruptive sounds, provides improved conversation privacy, and creates a more peaceful and productive office.

Soft Touches: Houston-based small batch coffee roastery, Zeppelin Coffee created a custom Chamberlain Hrdlicka coffee blend, with the top flavor voted on by the entire office. Other enhanced offerings include organic teas, nitro brews and flavored sparkling water as well as a curated self-checkout pantry of fresh grab-and-go options, from healthy snacks to full meals.

Decreased on-site paper files: As the way law firms work today changes, Chamberlain Hrdlicka was able to reduce its library space and significantly cut down space needed to store on-site paper files, freeing up room for additional offices and collaboration areas.

“Chamberlain Hrdlicka’s renovation demonstrates that strategic design can make a significant impact,” said Kenneth Wiesehuegel, Principal and Gensler South Central Region Practice Area Leader for Professional Services. “Each decision made centered around maximizing the employee experience and creating a more modern and welcoming environment for all, while carefully considering each cost and the value provided.” 

“The construction of the new Chamberlain Hrdlicka space exemplified a true team effort,” said Sam Ballard, O’Donnell Snider Vice President & Project Executive. “The collective dedication and expertise of the team brought new life to their existing space, seamlessly integrating openness and connectivity across two floors within the specified timeframe and budget.  We are grateful for the opportunity to contribute to this project and to work collaboratively with such a great group of people.  The finished product reflects the commitment to quality of the entire team from conception to completion.”