Launch Slideshow

Box Office

Rand Elliott rethinks the office box in Oklahoma City.

Box Office

Rand Elliott rethinks the office box in Oklahoma City.

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    Elliott didn’t pursue a LEED rating for 1001 West Wilshire, but he incorporated several design strategies that marry sustainability with practicality. “In our part of the world, you don’t need to buy photovoltaic systems if you do things passively,” he says. “You save enormous amounts of energy with things like shade.” “Because of the south roof overhang, we were able to choose clear glass,” which is less expensive than tinted, Elliott explains, and “gives the kind of daylight that reduces electrical consumption.”

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    View looking east

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    View looking northeast

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    Site Plan

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    In early sketches, the architect articulated the elevation as simple horizontal bands of brick and glass. Then he revised, adding a 20-footsquare plane of HGP glass in a Kawneer frame that projects slightly from the banded façade.

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    “I had some fun with the north side of the building,” Elliott says. On that side, 1001 faces a roofing company that unavoidably roughens its context.

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    Elliott traded a conventional lobby for a hallway along the south side of the ground floor (left), anchored by fire stairs at either end. “You look out the rows of windows and have a sense of the activity and movement along the street,” Elliott says. “You aren’t in some interior lobby where you have no sense of orientation.”

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    Elliott treated the hallway and the stairwells as a suite of linear and vertical galleries.

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    Elliott treated the hallway and the stairwells as a suite of linear and vertical galleries.

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    Canopy Edge @ Wall - The detail drawing illustrates the connection between the roof of the south-facing porch and a freestanding brick wall. A 2 1/4-inch reveal separates the standard wide-flange I-beams from the masonry. “Where these two materials would come slamming together, this reveal provides a soft connection,” Elliott says. “The reveal leaves enough tension for the two materials to connect but separates them with some air.”

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    Renee Van Helm’s '100 Years of Color' lines the hallway; each disc represents the most popular color from a year of the 20th century.

The 3-by-5 card contained fewer than 50 words to guide Rand Elliott, Oklahoma City architect and owner of Elliott + Associates Architects, in designing 1001 West Wilshire, a four-story, 48,000-square-foot office building in the Sooner State's capital.

Client Christian Keesee had penned a mixture of evocative nouns like “stone, wood, light, texture” and more directive remarks like “protection from the sun,” “favor light from the north,” and “simple lines and materials.” While Keesee respected classical architecture, he thought modern seemed more appropriate in a relatively young state that just next year will be celebrating its centennial.

Modern architecture “is new, vibrant, and strong, like our state,” Keesee said later at the building's groundbreaking in February 2002. “My hope is that our efforts beginning today will produce a modern masterpiece.”

Elliott was neither fazed by his client's lofty goal nor surprised.

“Christian is an art collector and a philanthropist as well as the chairman of an oil company and a banker,” Elliott says. “He is cognizant of what goes on in the architecture world and of what buildings should give back. He provided his criteria, and that's where the process began.”

  • Rand Elliott - Age: 56 - Firm: Elliott + Associates Architects, Oklahoma City - Employees: 17 people - Education: Oklahoma State University
    Rand Elliott - Age: 56 - Firm: Elliott + Associates Architects, Oklahoma City - Employees: 17 people - Education: Oklahoma State University

What started with a few written words ended with a building Keesee likens to an Armani suit in a world of off-the-rack, J.C. Penney–variety office buildings.

Completed in 2003, the building houses the headquarters—on the second and third floors—of Kirkpatrick Oil, a family-owned company that Keesee's grandfather, Oklahoma businessman and civic leader John E. Kirkpatrick, founded in 1950. The fourth floor provides offices for Kirkpatrick Bank. The first floor contains limited rental space.

The Project
1001 West Wilshire Blvd.
Oklahoma City
Client: Kirkpatrick Oil Co.
Architect: Elliott + Associates Architects
Project Team: Rand Elliott, Jay Yowell
Engineers: Grossman & Keith Engineering Co. (civil), Eudaley & Associates (structural), United Mechanical (MEP), Lemke Land Surveying (surveyors); Terracon (soils)
General Contractor: Smith & Pickel Construction
Consultants: Brian Dougherty, Landscape Architect
Cost: Withheld at owner's request
Photographer: Robert Shimer, Hedrich Blessing