Gulf Coast Central Control Building

Oil & Gas | Texas, USA

This was a control room consolidation project for a very large refinery in the Texas Gulf. Initial resistance on the part of the operators turned to acceptance then was wholeheartedly embraced as a major control systems upgrade. It has stood the test of time, and has a futuristic feel nearly two decades later.

Prior to beginning the project there were 16 control rooms spread out across the plant. BAW Architecture’s vision was to consolidate them into a central control room to improve communication and maximize efficiencies. The plant manager wanted to make an architectural statement, and everything had to be state-of-the-art. This posed a challenge because BAW had to take the given console shape “out of the box”, with a fixed geometry inherent in the Honeywell instruments. The arch was therefore a given, so the solution was to a create building that mirrored that, resulting in an inspired structure of elliptical and conical shapes.

Walls were angled, taking into account best practices in lighting and acoustics, and the angles were then expressed in the outside conical shape. Not only did the tapered walls help reflect and diffuse the sound, the room feels larger with walls splayed out.

This building was also a study in change management, because initially the operators were vehemently against the concept of being in a single room working together. Over time the futuristic space—with its stunning architecture and cutting-edge attention to lighting and acoustics—won over the operators. With the passion of a convert many of them now lead public tours through the campus, and take great pride in the architecture.

There is a timeless feeling to the building, and the client feedback on this project has been amazing.

We respect the confidentiality of this client
12,500 sf / 1161.3 sm
Oil & Gas
Texas, USA
1999 | Built
  • Life Safety
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Electrial Engineering
  • Structural Engineering
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Leading-edge light therapy, including a daylight-simulating skylight, enhanced alertness, which leads to fewer incidents.


Consolidation resulted in strong ROI for the client, and the operators love it. Contact us to learn more about what our team can do for you.

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