Planning Design Research Completes Transformation of Allen Center Food Court

Houston, TX, August 01, 2012 --( Planning Design Research (PDR), which creates high-performance work environments for companies around the globe, has completed a transformation of the 17,000 square-foot food court in the lower level of the Allen Center office complex in downtown Houston.

One of downtown Houston’s most significant food courts, the “Court” at Allen Center has been transformed into a bright, sophisticated space with all new floor and wall finishes, ceilings and lighting, tables and seating.

The transformation includes the installation of white noise dampening ceilings, cream colored tile floors and brighter – more efficient and pleasing lighting. The new European style café and lounge chairs are like those found in the cafes at the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

With 500 seats, the Court at Allen Center caters to all working in and around the Allen Center Complex of three buildings which collectively house nearly three million square feet of Class A office space. Allen Center is owned by Brookfield Office Properties.

“The goal was to make the food court feel larger and brighter with a more active, sophisticated and timeless ambiance – even though it is in the tunnel level below grade and without windows” says Wayne Braun of PDR. “Now brighter and whiter, the people are the ‘color’ and they create the good vibes for this space – it is all about the people. We set out to create a space that feels inviting to the patrons and improves the bottom line for all of the merchants who are tenants there as well as for Brookfield.”

Tenants in the “Court” at Allen Center include Café Basil, the Candy Shop, Otto’s Bar-B-Que, Salata, Taco Cabana, Teppanyaki and Wall Street Deli.

Braun adds that food courts have become increasingly important to companies in their site selection process given the growing emphasis now placed on employees having easy access to quality food choices. Moreover, he says a well-designed food court gives workers an uplifting place to go for a break or lunch and can help stimulate their body and mind throughout the rest of their day.

Founded in 1977, PDR focuses on corporate architecture, working with Fortune 100 companies around the globe to create high-performance work environments for organizations which recognize the workplace as a key, strategic asset in promoting the effective integration of talent, process and technology. For more information, go to
Planning Design Research
Bernard Kaplan