Looking Through the Complete Renovation of the Sunset Coffee Building at Allen’s Landing

Adaptive Reuse of Former Sunset Coffee, International Coffee Company Building, Commerce St. Between Main St. and Fannin, Allen's Landing, Downtown Houston

When Houston First and the Buffalo Bayou Partnership announced the complete redo of the former Sunset Coffee building (also known as the International Coffee Company building) at Allen’s Landing last year, they meant it: This pic posted to the Houston First Facebook page doesn’t make it look like there’s a whole lot left — beyond columns and floors — of the 1910 structure parked off Commerce St. between Main and Fannin, but it does allow better glimpses of the Harris County Jail across the bayou through the cleared-out floors.

Following a design from San Antonio architects Lake Flato, the $2.5 million renovation project is scheduled to be complete a year from now. The finished structure will include canoe and kayak rental space on the ground floor facing the bayou and office and event space above. Here’s a rendering of the same from-the-bayou view:

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Adaptive Reuse of Former Sunset Coffee, International Coffee Company Building, Commerce St. Between Main St. and Fannin, Allen's Landing, Downtown Houston

Photo: Houston First. Rendering: Lake Flato/Buffalo Bayou Partnership

 

Seeing Through the Redo

6 Comment

  • Very cool, love Lake/Flato. Lake/Flato and Tobin Smith are the masters of this more modern take on O’Neil Ford, they do some amazing work. There is a house Tobin Smith designed in Alamo Heights that cantilevers over a creek and is covered in Travertine and Copper, it’s elegant and functional to the site. There work really looks best in the Hill Country, but under the right circumstances, like this coffee building for example, it can really work well.

  • I certainly hope the period bricks all make their way back on the building!

  • Oh look! it’s the Emperors New Clothes……this building looks just like every bland apartment box from Hanover only adding sun screens and some tacky water cooler from the Green Acres collection. I hate this. It’s ugly. Lake Flato must have an aunt at Swamplot to get this published.

  • Looks great to me, but how will they deal with the flooding that will inevitably happen?

  • @JM,
    I had a 7th floor window seat back in the 90s watching car after car parked beside The Old Spaghetti Warehouse slide slowly into the bayou. There must have been 40 or more cars parked in that lot and all but the ones closest to Commerce went slowly in. Yes, it will happen again, the only question is when.
    .
    I-10 inside the loop was flooded and even 18 wheelers were floating. This was several years before TS Allison.

  • Lake/Flato does amazing work. I’m sure this will be beautiful.