Four-Leaf Towers: 30 Years of Contemporary Architecture
The Four-Leaf Towers symbolize modern architecture in Houston.
Photos by Molly Dunn
The Four-Leaf Towers opened 30 years ago in Uptown Houston and are as marvelous today as they were when they were established. These towers with contemporary designs were extremely different from the other condos in Houston when they were built, developer Giorgio Borlenghi says.
"I remember when we met with Cesar Pelli (the architect) for the first time, we told him, 'we want you to help us design buildings that when people will drive by them 30 years from now, they'll think they're brand new,'" says Borlenghi.
The terracotta pink exterior on the identical 40-story buildings is meant to resemble the colors of old buildings in Italy. Borlenghi and his father did not want the high rises to appear as office buildings, but instead as warm and welcoming homes.
Borlenghi attributes the construction and design to the functionality of the complex as well.
"It was really the first project where people could have a complete high rise condominium experience in a city that, until then, had a few buildings, but certainly nothing of the caliber," says Borlenghi.
The lobby's design is more traditional.
Inside, the lobby in each building is much more traditional with glass chandeliers, elegant mirrors, carved wood panels and paintings on the walls. The Italian influence is reflected in each common area of the Four-Leaf Towers with Italian marble and tile.
At the time these towers were built, Borlenghi says they were "absolutely shocking" to Houstonians.
"Until then, all condos in Houston had been white, plain and ugly," says Borlenghi. "To do something so striking, it was certainly something people didn't expect. Those buildings were the forefront of an architectural movement that went on worldwide with colored glass, until the late '80s."
Today, the buildings still stand out as modern architecture in Houston.
"You drive around and you know where you are, looking up at all of these wonderful buildings we have," says Borlenghi, "which is one of the reasons that, in my opinion, such great architecture has happened over the years."
Many residents have lived in the towers since the opening 30 years ago, he said. The complex includes a pool between the two towers, four tennis courts, a party room to entertain guests and a health club.
The outdoor facility is always put together and nothing is out of place.
The Four-Leaf Towers are located at 5100 and 5110 San Felipe at Post Oak Lane. For more information, please visit the condominium's website or call 713-552-1000.
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