LocationAustin, TX, United States
Designer in ChargeJamie Chioco, Vanessa Francis
Text description provided by the architects. This project is a renovation of an existing restaurant building into the new offices for Resignation Media, a company that recently relocated from Venice, California. The two-story 11,690 square foot building situated in downtown Austin presented many challenges, including mold, deteriorating structure and outdated and failing infrastructure. A complete interior renovation was required. The project cost was $225 per square foot.
Resignation Media is the umbrella company to a group of diverse entities that includes the world's largest photo entertainment website, a nonprofit charity, a music festival organization, and a beer label. The office culture is young, energetic, and committed to a lifestyle of blending work and play. Chioco Design’s approach was to design an environment that combined both into a functional office with the spirit of a home, restaurant, and bar combined.
Though the building program required four different “offices” between two levels, the necessity for a cohesive design identity was paramount. We cut a large atrium into the upper floor to enhance a sense of community and shared space. It features a structurally dynamic stair constructed of a single steel tube stringer and cantilevered treads with a glass guard rail. This fulfilled the client’s physical and psychological requirements while greatly increasing natural light throughout. We also incorporated a walnut butcher-block slide as a nod to Resignation Media’s playful company culture.
An edited and carefully selected materials palette throughout further strengthens this cohesiveness. Walnut floors and walls, plasma cut decorative steel panels, 3- dimensional concrete tiles, black glazed brick tile, wood siding with a shou sugi ban finish, copper, and glass combine to make a rich and warm environment. Chioco Design furnished this project with the aid of Shelton Keller Group, and all of the artwork is taken from the client’s personal collection.
A walnut clad soffit featuring hundreds of individual LED lights leads visitors to the Level 1 reception area and on to the lounge, workspace and break room/bar beyond. Two executive offices with a shared bathroom and shower (the company’s founders are also brothers), phone rooms, and a conference room are located on this level as well. The open workspaces throughout were designed to be flexible since desks and partitions needed to be easily rearranged for the occasional event or party. The client was not partial to many of the “cubical” workstations currently available, so Chioco Design came up with a modular partition system constructed of a tube steel frame, steel panels and walnut boxes, all on casters for mobility.