Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat
Devon Energy Center, Oklahoma City
Featured October 2013
Devon Energy Center was recognized as a Best Tall Building Americas Finalist in the 2013 CTBUH Awards Program.
Other Featured Tall Buildings
“It will surprise some that the quest for more sustainable high-rise buildings is being advanced in the heart of Oklahoma, but the Devon Energy Center is quietly doing just that.”
Antony Wood, Juror, CTBUH Awards Committee

Location
Oklahoma City
Completion
2012
Height
257 m (844 ft)
Stories
50
Primary Use
Office

Owner
Devon Energy Corporation
Developer
Hines
Design Architect
Pickard Chilton

Associate Architect

Kendall / Heaton Associates
Structural Engineer
Thornton Tomasetti
MEP
Cosentini Associates
Contractor
Holder
Flintco 
This building is remarkable, not only for its inherent design excellence, but for the seeming unlikelihood of its location. The culmination of a concerted effort to reduce sprawl and consolidate activity in a newly resurgent city center, Devon Energy Tower interacts with the nearby Myriad Gardens, providing new levels of public engagement in the area. The three-sided shape of the tower, visible from all angles, reinforces its centrality in the city’s life and public image.

In 2006, Devon began planning its new headquarters on a 7.52-acre brownfield parking lot site on the southern edge of the Central Business District in Oklahoma City. The program included: a 50-story office tower; a podium comprising conference, training, and dining facilities; a 2.25-acre public park; a 300-seat publicly accessible auditorium; and a rotunda to serve as the complex’s “town square.” The entire ground level is open and accessible to the public.

Devon Energy Center creates a focal point for the company and Oklahoma City by integrating civic-scaled spaces as a vital component of its overall development. It consolidates Devon’s Oklahoma City-based workforce into a single state-of-the-art facility with numerous amenities. 
Figure 1. Oklahoma City skyline from the south
The three-sided tower evolved in part from Devon’s desire to not “turn its back” on any part of the city. Its orientation and placement provide southern exposure to the park while minimizing solar gain. Its form resulted in highly efficient tripartite floor plates averaging 28,000 square feet that accommodate up to 12 full-corner offices. Responsive to the theme of a “right to light” for all occupants, the 10-foot floor-to-ceiling glazing allows daylight deep into the Tower as well as expansive views. All perimeter offices have floor-to-ceiling glass to maximize daylight. The curtain wall consists of continuous high-performance clear glass with a low-E coating that maximizes daylight, while also reducing heat gain.
Figure 2. View from the south in city context
Figure 3. View from base of tower
With a highly articulated structure, the jewel-like Rotunda is a grand civic-scaled space with glass walls, a series of balconies, and sky-lit roof. It regularly serves as a venue for special events. Unifying the entire complex within the city, this Rotunda symbolically and literally connects the cardinal directions, punctuating the urban axis of Harvey Street. The Rotunda provides 12,522 square feet (1,163 square meters) of welcome assembly space and has hosted fundraisers, holiday balls, corporate dinners, and civic gatherings.
Figure 4. Structure detailing in the rotunda
Figure 5. View looking up to tower from rotunda
The podium contains training and meeting spaces as well as visitor and occupant services. A promenade extending its length creates a glazed day-lit interior corridor. At street level, it provides public access to various amenities, including restaurants, and a series of indoor seating areas for dining and overlooking the park. Defining an urban edge, the auditorium is a prominent, but intimately scaled, multi-use venue for both corporate and public events. Although nestled into the landscaped park, the building’s strong 
presence activates street life and supports the downtown’s vitality, while providing dramatic views of downtown and Myriad Botanical Gardens.

The building is among the ten largest LEED-NC Gold-certified buildings worldwide. The chosen site has direct access to public transit. Construction of the building minimally impacted the natural environment by diverting 68,000 tons (61,669 metric tons) of waste and concrete from landfills and recycling 100 percent of a demolished parking deck on the site. The building also performs well operationally. Potable water consumption is reduced by 50 percent through landscape design and irrigation; overall water use is reduced by 40 percent. Energy use is modulated by district cooling with on-site cogeneration, personal comfort control for 50 percent of occupants and personal lighting control for 90 percent of occupants.
Figure 6. View across the plaza

Related Links
CTBUH Skyscraper Center Profile:
Devon Energy Center

Devon Energy Center was recognized as a Best Tall Building America Finalist in the 2013 CTBUH Awards Program.

Download Devon Energy Center 2013 CTBUH Awards Book section
2013 CTBUH Awards Book

The CTBUH would like to thank Pickard Chilton for their assistance with this article.
Photography © Joe Aker, Alan Karchmer, and Pickard Chilton