Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Diamond Building - Abundant Life Building Reimagined

"This reconstruction of a 6 story windowless building into an 12 story mixed use facility is expected to help revitalize an entire section of near-downtown Tulsa. The uses will include ground floor retail, office space from 2nd through 6th floors and well-appointed condominiums in the 7th through 12th floors. Materials include a rough rectangular limestone base and columns, metal trellises and sunscreens and preformed concrete panels. An iconic rooftop lookout platform is oriented towards the downtown skyline, and extends the roof garden that overlooks the neighboring Veterans Park, historic neighborhoods and the Arkansas River in the near distance."

It's an interesting idea, although I have to wonder where the "diamonds" are. In fact, this design is lacking in pretty much any reference to the original architecture. Ignoring that fact, I think it's a pretty good looking building. I'd love to live in a modern multi-use building like this, particularly once occupancy reached a good level. With an additional 6 floors you'd have some spectacular views comparable to the University Tower. It's unlikely that this particular proposal will come to pass, but it's interesting to see what people can dream up for the renewal of this historic Tulsa landmark (albeit eyesore, currently). Most people I talk to dream of it as a rubble heap, being carried off in large dump trucks. I have mixed feelings myself. The historic significance as the headquarters of Oral Roberts Ministry is unquestioned, but the structure simply doesn't lend itself easily to re-purposing without drastic changes.

Top photo/Quote: Freese Architecture

Abundant Life Building at Night courtesy of Beryl Ford Collection, Tulsa City-County Library


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