Gensler was asked to design the offices for KHOU, a dynamic local television station located in Houston, Texas. KHOU’s transition to a new facility in Houston parallels its transition to a new type of media company – one that is prepared to lead news reporting in an age when the news cycle never ends. The approachable, yet savvy design of its new offices and studios – complete with strategic go-live opportunities throughout – allows KHOU to be a true multi-media outlet that relays news in real time, any time.
KHOU’s 43,000-square-foot facility spans three floors in the 5718 Westheimer building and includes two spacious studios, two control rooms, edit suites, collaboration centers, hospitable green room and a technology-driven live desk to handle breaking news with speed and accuracy. Upon arrival to the third-floor, guests are greeted by a unique brand moment showcasing the KHOU logo merged into wooden panels stretched the length of the wall. Once inside the reception area, guests are welcomed by a crisp, neutral palette, which elevates KHOU’s workspace into the modern era. Windows stretch vertically along the wall with soft, royal blue seating placed beneath providing a calming, daylit space to casually meet or relax.
In contrast to the executive office floor, KHOU’s open-concept newsroom on the second-floor features boastful pops of colors that reflect the energy of the environment. Staff is purposefully intermingled throughout the space to allow anchors, editors and producers the ability to collaborate and bounce ideas off each other as opposed to working in silos. The main newsroom floor is intentionally designed to feel dynamic through the movement of lighting along the exposed ceiling, making even fixed shots have a feeling of movement while on-air. The design team strategically placed go-live opportunities throughout the floor – opportunities they may continue to discover long after moving in.
Nods to Houston culture were made in large design gestures across the second floor, including a wall paying tribute to the iconic Biscuit Paint Wall in Montrose. Local artist DUAL also commissioned a wall mural on the second floor featuring a collage of colors surrounding a key word from KHOU’s culture, “Relentless.” Although entirely new, their home base also incorporates a very important artifact from the past: KHOU’s landmark marquee call letters. These large, red letters that adorned the former studio tower for over half a century were reborn and given a new life by being installed along the ceiling near the second-floor elevator lobby as an inspiring brand moment for those coming in or out each day.
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