The oil boom of the late 1970s and early 1980s affected not only downtown and the Post Oak district; it was also instrumental in the construction of additional edge-city centers. One of these, perhaps more strip than center, is the Energy Corridor on the Katy Freeway (I-10) between the Sam Houston Tollway and Barker-Cypress Road, where oil companies built headquarters and research centers. Conoco's sixteen-building complex was designed by Connecticut architect Kevin Roche in response to his assessment of its site and climatic conditions. Roche cited the Kellum-Noble House of 1847 (see HN7) in Sam Houston Park, with its encircling double galleries, as the model for the continuous fiberglass visors cantilevered off the parapets of the Conoco buildings, thematizing sun-shading as an essential architectural feature. Bridges connect the buildings at the second-floor level. They span an artificial lagoon, within which the complex is set, a slightly daring reminder that the Energy Corridor adjoins Addicks Reservoir, a huge flood-retention basin. The tall grass-surfaced dike that surrounds the basin is echoed in the tall berms that screen the complex from the Katy Freeway.
You are here
If SAH Archipedia has been useful to you, please consider supporting it.
SAH Archipedia tells the story of the United States through its buildings, landscapes, and cities. This freely available resource empowers the public with authoritative knowledge that deepens their understanding and appreciation of the built environment. But the Society of Architectural Historians, which created SAH Archipedia with University of Virginia Press, needs your support to maintain the high-caliber research, writing, photography, cartography, editing, design, and programming that make SAH Archipedia a trusted online resource available to all who value the history of place, heritage tourism, and learning.