Texas Architect September/October 2013: Design Awards
This year’s statewide design awards jury recognized 11 projects as outstanding examples of design in Texas. The three jurors — Ann Beha, FAIA, of Ann Beha Architects in Boston; Julie Eizenberg, AIA, of Koning Eizenberg in Santa Monica; and Douglas Stockman, AIA, of el dorado in Kansas City — collectively sought to recognize a diversity of project scales and typologies. They also embraced designs that they described as straightforward, elegant, clear, and simple.
Portfolio: Office Interiors Attorneys at Law Project Weisbart Springer Hayes, Austin Client Weisbart Springer Hayes Architect Gensler Design Team Lance Yeary; Todd Runkle; Adrianna Hong, Assoc. AIA; Patrick Bandy, AIA; Mark Flory, AIA; Stephanie Long Photographer Casey Dunn Photography When three prominent Austin litigators decided to leave their established firms to work together, Weisbart Spring Hayes (WSH) was born. The partners wanted to conduct business in a casual space that would embody Austin’s laid-back culture and appeal to the next generation of clients — a place that would reflect WSH’s fresh start as a firm and its progressive approach to practicing law. After looking at a number of potential locations downtown, the team settled on a secondfloor space in Andersson-Wise Architects’ Block 21 building, home to the W Hotel, Austin City Limits, and Gensler’s Austin office. The attorneys then asked their architectneighbors to design their office. Gensler organized the space around the premise of doing more with less and maximizing the efficiency of the available square footage. Because WSH stores many documents and reference materials in the office’s digital cloud, Gensler was able to severely cut back on space needed to store hard copy files, servers, and law books. The result is an open space with lofted ceilings and long views. The reception area takes advantage of the 20-ft ceiling height, and within the office, there is a mezzanine above the main floor that provides additional office and conference spaces. Cutting back and combining nonessential programmatic elements enabled WSH to save money while still operating comfortably in a modest-sized space. For a look that departs from the traditional law firm, Gensler used geometry to connect to the city. White walls have wood accents, and pops of color, such as red fixtures and yellow chairs, found throughout the office contribute to the unique feeling of the space. Glass panels surround the conference room and private offices, allowing natural light to flow freely from the large windows into the more interior areas. Since moving into the space in 2012, WSH has grown dramatically, and plans are underway to expand into an adjacent area. Gensler will continue to work with its client’s progressive, nontraditional brand identity while maximizing spatial efficiency. 92 Texas Architect 9/10 2013