This project involved the renovation and adaptive re-use of an existing single-story brick building in downtown Austin, TX. The structure, built in the 1920s, housed a variety of tenants through the years–from a mom-and-pop grocery to leasing offices for new urban condos. The current owner, a film-production company, was on an extremely tight budget and wanted to re-use as much of what existed as possible, while creating something that was uniquely “Austin” in character.
We embraced this spirit of frugality, re-purposing, assemblage, and local sourcing, and used many unique strategies in the space. Re-sawn siding from a demolished building became a wall and ceiling surfacing that gives a great deal of character to the common areas. Raw, stock steel segments from a local supplier were used to fabricate interior partitions, space dividers, and kitchen installations. Cement backer-board, a common and rough material that is usually used an an underlayment for tile, was applied as another surface treatment. Cheap off-the-shelf chandeliers were painted and installed for feature lighting. Many existing interior partitions and surfaces were re-worked and re-installed, saving money and allowing traces of the space’s colorful history to be a part of the new use.
Architect: Specht Harpman
Photographer: Taggart Sorensen