A Communications Giant With Local Pride Clear Channel Headquarters   |   San Antonio, Texas   |   95,000 GSF

The Clear Channel Communications Corporate Headquarters was the main operations base of a family-owned business that has become a global leader in the field of communications media. The three-story facility houses office and meeting spaces for clients and workers, while providing numerous areas for entertainment, dining, and relaxation.

Special Needs For An Evolving Industry
Clear Channel was a local communications business that had grown rapidly in a very short time to become a major player on a global scale and was in need of a new corporate headquarters. The land that had been purchased was in a prime location with strong local roots—adjacent to an historic limestone quarry that was being redeveloped into a mixed-used retail, residential, and recreational area which included a golf course. Overland was already very familiar with the site and understood its potential, as it had been used for a university thesis project done by the firm’s founding partners.

The client wanted a headquarters that would impress their own potential clients, keep employees happy, and express their family and corporate values of stability, integrity, and fair dealing. Being in the communications field, the building also needed to include state-of-the-art technology that could be easily upgraded to keep in line with ongoing innovations in the industry. One of the most challenging problems was what to do with the many satellite dishes necessary to connect digitally with clients and partner organizations around the world.

Considering Location And Function
When Overland took on the project, the team was already familiar with the site, having played a role in creating the master plan for the quarry’s redevelopment. To link the new headquarters conceptually to the historical context of the quarry, they chose the same type of limestone that had been mined there for the new facility’s walls. To connect the building visually to the neighboring environment in an awe-inspiring format, they opted for large glass windows that look out upon the golf course so that, upon entering the building, visitors are immediately greeted by a panoramic view of a beautiful green landscape.

The Clear Channel building expresses the fundamental architectural values of durability, comfort and delight with pervasive care and refined exuberance.
Mike Greenberg San Antonio Express News

Perhaps the most challenging aspect of the project was dealing with technology issues. To conceal the large amount of wiring and allow for eventual upgrades, the Overland team designed a modular ceiling structure, leaving spaces for the cables and wires within a wood raceway ceiling.  So, if cables needed to be replaced, this could be done easily without moving any ceiling tiles or replacing any walls. According to Principal in Charge, Tim Blonkvist, “We had these superhighways of all the cabling and fibers. You can get in, move, reconfigure, and redo them and never have to actually do any reconfiguration of the building itself.” To integrate the satellite dishes (which come in different shapes, sizes, and colors) into the structure seamlessly, a tower was designed to store them, thereby concealing them from view without inhibiting their function. Additionally, a state-of-the-art board and communications room on the second floor houses cutting-edge technology for multimedia presentations.

To ensure that the interior environment was conducive to inspiring productivity, well-being, and feelings of camaraderie, Overland paid special attention to bringing natural daylight into the building. To increase daylight’s reach, they installed light shelves that shade the windows while bouncing natural light into more distant open areas.

A Contemporary, Comfortable Place To Conduct Business
Viewed from afar, the Clear Channel Communications Corporate Headquarters is a sleek modern structure defined by broad expanses of glass and stone. Inside the building, an open ground floor, dynamic stairway, and upstairs offices and meeting spaces are united by natural daylight and vistas to outdoor green spaces. With landscaped patios, roof gardens, and terraces throughout, the facility provides a harmonious atmosphere for conducting business and encouraging employee productivity.  According to Mike Greenberg, former architecture critic for the San Antonio Express News, “The Clear Channel Building expresses the fundamental architectural values of durability, comfort, and delight with pervasive care and refined exuberance.”
Awards
  • AIA Design Award 2003
  • AIA Design Merit Award 2001
  • Builder Magazine Gold Nugget Award for Architecture 2001
Publications
  • Texas Architect, “Clearly Connected,” May 2004

IN ASSOCIATION WITH RVK ARCHITECTS