Dancing Fountains, striking 2-story high lobbies with glass panels spanning almost 30' from floor-to-ceiling and interior feature walls that capture and reflect surrounding light are just the beginning of what make the renovation of Fountain Place a timeless architectural masterpiece. The 60-story office tower was originally designed in 1986 by architect Henry Cobb of I.M. Pei & Partners. A signature structure and icon on the Dallas skyline, Cobb described the original design for the building as “geometry pursued with rigor”- an ode to the towers subtractive form of a glazed prism employing the diagonal of a double square.
In 2014, Atlanta-based Goddard Investment Group purchased the building and undertook one of the most ambitious rehabilitations with the goal of re-inventing the space as an integrated complex. Employing architectural icon Gensler and New York-based architect James Carpenter Design Associates to lead the renovation of the lobby, the plaza and the common areas of Fountain Place, the existing mezzanines were removed to vault the ceiling and maximize penetration of light.
During the renovation, in an effort to increase the connection between the interior entrance lobbies and Dan Kiley’s famous outdoor water gardens, the original mezzanines were removed to make way for the new structural glass façade and lobby enclosure walls. The existing lobby enclosure walls were replaced with a frameless, clear span monumental glass façade that embraces the visual connection between the tower lobbies and the bubbler fountains, Texas cypress trees, waterfalls and central fountain that make up the exterior garden. Utilizing Sentech’s VetraSpan all-glass full-height façade system, the low-iron glass panels span 29′-6″ from floor-to-ceiling and over 10′ in width with no visible supporting elements or additional structure to ensure complete transparency. Each panel weighs over 6,400 pounds, and the exterior façade totals approximately 6,720 square feet of structural glass. To achieve a clean aesthetic with the sizes required under load conditions, panels had to be manufactured with extremely tight bow tolerances, and the perimeter support systems were designed to reduce deformation while allowing for building movement.
To add to the striking aesthetic, the elevator cores were clad in 9′-high panels of backlit cast glass, creating feature walls that draw the eye and define the space. The elevator core's translucent glass captures and reflects the surrounding cascades of natural light. Transparent and bright, this re-defined structure captures the original design intent of its architectural masters. The resulting monumental, 2-story high frameless glass walls create transparent and seamless views from the lobby into the garden and beyond, enabling a harmonious transition between the interior and exterior environments.
Fountain Place is LEED Gold Certified, and Winner of D CEO’s 2020 Best Redevelopment/Renovation Award.
Executive Architect: Gensler Architect: James Carpenter Design Associates Glazing Contractor: Admiral Glass General Contractor: Turner Construction Company Photographer: Timothy Hursley