Arabella is a 34-story residential tower in Houston, Texas located on a prominent corner of a rapidly redeveloping area consisting of other residential and mixed-use facilities. The task, as described by our client was to create something ‘iconic’. The tower is conceived as an expression of several individual houses not only all unique, but also identifiable within a vertical neighborhood. Local construction methods and structural restraints allowed for cantilevering of the building slab to create balconies protruding from living spaces. As a reversal of this logic, living spaces are projected from the façade with terraces inboard. A living room with three sides of exterior views could sponsor a
terrace for a unit above and shading for a terrace below. Then we began to rotate the floorplates about the core creating what we deemed; the ‘CAMSHAFT effect’. Whereas the positioning and rotation of each cam is of critical importance, each shift in the floor plate became specific to the living spaces within. Designed from the inside-out, there are no typical floorplates. Instead, 99 unique homes of varying size and program are offered throughout a vertical neighborhood.