Case Study: Refreshing Reunion Tower (Part 2)

  • Jul 12, 2015

In 1978, Beck performed construction on a development that included the iconic 50-story Reunion Tower. Nearly 30 years later, Beck fully renovated the tower, including a new fine-dining restaurant, banquet space and upgrades to the elevator system. The restaurant, 560, reopened to the public in 2007 with the remaining spaced available for limited rentals. In 2013, the observation deck and mid deck were renovated for public access.

Challenge: Reduce impact during construction.

Solution: The actual upper tower has four levels, all of which are accessible by only three elevators (or stairs). Beck demolished and renovated both the Observation Deck and the floor above it. 560 Restaurant had to remain fully operational throughout entire construction process, with restaurant personnel hours of access from 8 a.m. daily and through 2:30 a.m. One elevator had to be available at all times for deliveries. A second elevator had to be stopped, cleaned and a protection corridor built daily prior to 5 p.m. for 560 guest use only during restaurant hours of operation. During the entire 24/7 construction process Beck had sole use of one elevator only between the hours of 2 a.m. and 7 a.m. daily.

Challenge: Renovating an existing structure.

Solution: The tower base (lobby) is essentially round. Constructing a circle out of varying materials is difficult and the design selections allowed for very little, if any, tolerance. Built in 1978, the original concrete shaftways were not perfect circles, or perfectly located/spaced apart. Cloud Nine includes suspended custom metal LED backlit 3 dimensional geodesic metal light boxes on ceiling surrounding suspended video screens.  A large paper template (approximately 1,500 SF) was laid out on the floor so wood ceiling supports for video screen and metal clouds could be precisely located. The stair includes a built-in-place four-story chandelier with LED lighting inserts. The piece was built from the lowest level and hoisted upwards towards final connections as each section was completed.

Challenge: Complicated coordination.

Solution: About one month into the project the team realized that as-built conditions and revisions were going to be ongoing throughout the project in order for it to be completed on time. Each decision required too much time in discovery, travel time and meetings to discuss. Beck and the project architect, Gensler, shared an office together on-site. As a result, the pace of the project more than doubled and carried the team to a successful completion. The shop drawing and submittal process was a highly coordinated simultaneous effort between architect, owner, contractor, subs and suppliers.

What did it take for the successful delivery of the Reunion Tower, a newly refreshed Dallas landmark?

  • 80 Contractors/Vendors/Consultants
  • 47 Sets of Construction Documents
  • 30 Interactive Video Displays
  • 6 Operating Partners
  • 3 Elevators
  • 1 Iconic Tower