Lauren Rottet’s Rottet Studio (rottetstudio.com) has a knack for taking on projects that make people take notice. So we asked the award-winning architect and interior designer about her illustrious career and her life in Houston. Here are a few thoughts from the design-world doyenne.
I cut my teeth doing high-rise buildings during the late ’80s. Then, when building stopped, I went over to interiors.
I don’t think there’s one project that’s my favorite, but I will say that The Surrey Hotel in New York probably stands out. It really is the one that launched our hospitality career.
We have offices in Houston, New York and L.A. (and an affiliate in Shanghai). We always have our hands in a lot of different things. We’re finishing up the interiors of the tallest residential tower in the world—Gary Barnett’s Central Park Tower. So that one is pretty exciting.
I have to have a reasonable budget—but it doesn’t have to be big. What gets us excited is someone with an open mind who realizes that design is the differentiator and who will allow us to be creative.
I never really felt that being a woman, even a woman in architecture, made me an underdog—although I think women made up less than 10 percent in the [University of Texas School of Architecture] during the time I was there. But I just still never thought about it.
The first time it hit home was when I ended up in a partnership with four men and me. Monday mornings were all football and the games that had happened over the weekend, and then on Friday night, everybody was out of there, and I’d be the one staying late with the accountant signing payroll checks. I was like, ‘What is wrong with this picture?’
You absolutely cannot beat the people in Houston. How can you not love it? I live in River Oaks, so I’m, what, seven minutes from Downtown? Where else can you live on land like that and be that close to a city?
Photography by: Candace Moore; lauren rottet portrait by candace moore, Makeup by Amethyst Hamilton, Hair by Alina Ho at Shampu Salon, styled by Craig Lidji/Tootsies with Melody Faircloth, shot on Location at the Esperson Building