Pennzoil Place

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Pennzoil Place
Pennzoil Place in Houston.JPG
Symmetry of Pennzoil Place
General information
LocationDowntown Houston, Texas, United States
Coordinates29°45′37″N 95°21′57″W / 29.7603°N 95.3657°W / 29.7603; -95.3657Coordinates: 29°45′37″N 95°21′57″W / 29.7603°N 95.3657°W / 29.7603; -95.3657
Roof523 ft (159 m)
Technical details
Floor count36

Pennzoil Place is a set of two 36-story towers in downtown Houston, Texas, United States.[1] Designed by Philip Johnson and John Burgee and built in 1975, Pennzoil Place is Houston's most award-winning skyscraper and is widely known for its innovative design.[2]


In May 1976 Deutsche Bank and other partners in a West German investment group bought a 90 percent interest in the Pennzoil Place building for $100 million.[3]

As of 2002 Arthur Andersen was vacating about 300,000 square feet (28,000 m2) of space in Pennzoil Place.[4]

Development and style[edit]

Pennzoil Place, developed and managed by Gerald D. Hines Interests, consists of two 495 ft (151 m) trapezoidal towers placed ten feet apart and sheathed in dark bronze glass and aluminum. The buildings are mirror images of each other.[5] The entire street-level plaza joining the two structures is enclosed in a 115-foot (35 m) glass pyramid-shaped atrium.[1] Deliberately designed as an optical illusion, Pennzoil Place's appearance will vary depending on the different locations from where it is viewed. Pennzoil Place is considered significant in architectural circles for breaking the modernist glass box design made popular by followers of Ludwig Mies van der Rohe and for introducing the era of postmodernism.[6] The buildings combined contain 1,400,000 square feet (130,000 m2) of leasable space.[5]

Architect Philip Johnson was awarded the 1978 AIA Gold Medal and became the first laureate of the Pritzker Prize in Architecture in 1979 for his work on Pennzoil Place.[7] Pennzoil Place was named "Building of the Decade" in 1975 by The New York Times architecture critic Ada Louise Huxtable because of the dramatic silhouette it added to the Houston skyline.[6][8]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Architecture of Pennzoil Place - Houston, Texas, United States of America". Retrieved 2008-04-06.
  2. ^ "Pennzoil Place". Retrieved 2007-05-04.
  3. ^ "Houston a Magnet for Foreigners and Their Money." The New York Times at The Palm Beach Post. Sunday May 21, 1978. F19. Retrieved from Google Books (138 of 191) on April 5, 2010.
  4. ^ Bivins, Ralph. "Halliburton headquarters moving here / 5 Houston Center lease brings firm from Dallas." Houston Chronicle. Tuesday July 16, 2002. Business 1. Retrieved on January 23, 2010.
  5. ^ a b "Pennzoil Place - Johnson/Burgee - Great Buildings Online". Retrieved 2008-04-05.
  6. ^ a b "Pennzoil Place, Houston, TX : Hines Interests". Retrieved 2008-04-05.
  7. ^ "Pennzoil Place, Houston". Retrieved 2008-04-06.
  8. ^ "Pennzoil Place : ENERGY STAR". Retrieved 2008-04-06.

External links[edit]