Tasked with converting a grand 6,200 square foot blank space into a swank penthouse condominium, acclaimed interior architect Lauren Rottet met the challenge with her renowned talent and aplomb. The shell on the 19th floor of The River Oaks was prime for the creation of a contemporary penthouse like none other in the city.
For certain it is unique with its remarkable 2,200 square foot terrace, 14-foot ceilings, glass walls and perhaps the loftiest price tag for a penthouse in the city, just shy of $9 million. Read that more than $1,000 per square foot, when terrace and interiors are combined. The numbers have failed to deter potential buyers with deep pockets as already Elliman agents have been escorting interested parties through.
The sophisticated penthouse rests atop the Miesian style structure that was built in 1967 at 3433 Westheimer as an apartment tower. The multi-million dollar reimagining began in 2014, under ownership of New York-based Arel Capital, which hired Rottet Studio to handle the renovation project.
In a nod to the building’s mid-century history, Rottet tells PaperCity that she envisioned the penthouse as an opportunity to embrace “Houston’s modernist roots while creating the feeling of a classical and timeless home” intertwined with “multiple venues within the home for entertaining, relaxing and just hanging out.”
In the process, Rottet and her team, led by Amber Lewis, carved a lavish four-bedroom, five full and one half bath residence with vast living spaces defined in rich detailing and finishes. Book-matched Brochsteins wood is employed in the entertaining areas and surrounds Poggenpohl cabinetry in the kitchen. Carrara marble and quartz are employed in baths and kitchen. NanaWall doors lead to the expansive terrace where the opportunities for entertaining are endless.
There is a contemporary lyricism to the thoughtful design. Imagine waking up in the master suite with its floor-to-ceiling westward views to Galleria and open views to the south, perhaps strolling out to the terrace for morning cup of joe or settling on a settee for a read of the New York Times. Imagine later in the day to opening your home to a party of 100 or perhaps closing off the library with its vast pocket doors and settling before the fireplace for a glass of sherry with friends. The view from these primary entertaining areas is north to the verdant landscape of River Oaks proper.
As Rottet tells PaperCity, one of the goals was “to create an interior environment that is as kinetic as the exterior surrounds, the feeling of visual movement. We like to think of designing spaces like writing a musical score. There are moments of calm and then notes/design details that crescendo to moments of intensity, then back to visual calm.”
Dramatic spaces and quiet places follow Rottet’s key tenant when designing such a grand residence.
“The important thing to remember when designing a home like this is that, though it must have a point of view,” she says, “it also needs to appeal to multiple potential buyers who feel like it is amazing, but there is still room for their personal touch. A study in balance.”