The renovation of Allen Center in Houston, Texas. Courtesy Brookfield.

Allen Center, Renovation



In the 1980s, Thornton Tomasetti provided structural engineering services for the original design of Three Allen Center and Four Allen Center. Thornton Tomasetti subsequently provided structural engineering services for One Allen Center, Two Allen Center, and Three Allen Center, along with the surrounding landscaping on the seven-acre site. The goal of this project was to modernize and create a destination.

The One Allen Center renovation consisted of localized demolition and reinforcement of the concrete lateral moment frame and steel floor framing. This retrofit, coupled with an extensive reimagining of the steel podium structure, created a two-story lobby for the 36-story tower with a usable terrace. The Two and Three Allen Center towers each received new canopies to replace the entrance awnings.

Another key feature of this modernization included the green space, The ACRE. The landscaping that surrounds the three towers was removed and replaced in its entirety. The addition of new soil, planting and trees throughout the site required an exhaustive study of the concrete and steel framing at the street level. Through coordination with the contractor, owner and landscape architect, the project team realized a design that maintained the initial intent while minimizing beam, girder and connection reinforcing. This space now includes areas for events, performance, art installations, retail spaces, a bar and dining terrace.

This project contributes to the revitalization of Houston’s downtown business district creating a place to relax and work.

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