Excerpt: Cushing Terrell is an interior design project designed by Cushing Terrell in Austin, Texas. The firm’s previous office space was in a historic building which featured exposed materials with time-worn patina. To capture some of that sensibility in the new space, existing concrete beams and columns were left exposed, while the concrete slab floors in the main circulation areas were retained and simply polished.
[Text as submitted by architect] Needing more space for their growing, multidisciplinary team in Austin, Texas, the firm explored several options for their new office location, ultimately choosing space within the Texas State Teacher’s Association building. The 13,000-square-foot office project was an exciting opportunity for the firm’s architects, interior designers, and engineers to join forces and create their own space. Matterport, a 3D program, was used to document existing conditions and build digital models so the team could experience the space before it was designed. The shared digital models ensured that the design and its amenities would meet staff needs, including comfortable workstations, collaboration areas, and conference rooms with flexibility to accommodate future growth.
The office is located off the main axis that runs east-west, allowing for views to the Capitol from the ‘front porch’ on the east and to the Texas Hill Country from the break room on the west. Workspaces are buffered from the main circulation path on the east by conference rooms, while the workspaces on the west are separated from the break room and training room by additional meeting spaces. The juxtaposition between the concrete structure on the west side of the building and the new steel structure on the east side creates unique charm. Spectacular views spanning the capitol building and surrounding downtown are welcomed from the rooftop deck and an east-facing interior area, dubbed the “front porch” by the team. From the lighting elements to the communal design lab that purposefully functions as a central hub, it’s evident every detail in this space was designed with intention.
The firm’s previous office space was in a historic building which featured exposed materials with time-worn patina. To capture some of that sensibility in the new space, existing concrete beams and columns were left exposed, while the concrete slab floors in the main circulation areas were retained and simply polished. Within the workspaces, organic patterned carpet was added for increased acoustic qualities. In conference rooms, a natural acoustic material was added to the walls and ceilings, complemented by color coordinated carpet and marker boards. Whether for an employee, client, or visitor, the design strives to capture the feeling of walking into someone’s living room: a place where you can be comfortable, welcomed, and relaxed. Wood-clad walls and a brick accent wall recalling a fireplace contribute to that aesthetic. The familiarity and comfort of home influenced the layout and design of many spaces: reception becomes living Room; design lab becomes the home workshop (viz. the garage, the symbolic birthplace of invention); break room equates to the den; and the quintessential front porch becomes the protected venue for capturing the sun and vistas.
The design lab is at the center of the office, ensuring that everyone walks through and experiences the various projects that are under way. A training room with operable glass walls connects to, and extends, the break room. The conjoined spaces provide surge space for hosting large internal and external groups that support the firm’s design community initiatives.