The Lance Armstrong Foundation for many years had been working out of a corporate office building in Austin, Texas, but needed to break out and find a home of their own that matched their ideals of community and the environment. The non profit found its home in the 1950's Gulf Coast Paper Co warehouse in East Austin and completely renovated the building into a beautifully day lit office space, reusing most of the original materials and landing themselves a LEED Gold certification for renovations. LAF's headquarter renovation was accomplished by San Antonio-based Lake|Flato Architects in collaboration with The Bommarito Group.
As you might expect for the Lance Armstrong Foundation, biking is a central facet of the work culture in the non-profit. Bike storage and showers for employees played a fairly central role in the design of the new office headquarters. Biking to work is highly encouraged as are, we’re sure, lunch break bike rides. There is still a parking lot though, but high fuel efficiency vehicles get preferential spots. The renovated warehouse cum office, also includes meeting rooms, dining facilities, an in-house gymnasium, and an open-air courtyard.
As part of the LEED Gold renovation, a large part of the original building was retained or reused and many materials found inside the warehouse were repurposed. For instance, the roof decking was taken down and re-milled to build the office “boxes”, which serve as individual offices and meeting spaces creating a dynamic space within. Existing glulam beams and concrete floors were repurposed into architectural elements, walls, and garden pathways. The old roof was exchanged for a series of gorgeous skylights the pull in lots of natural daylight into the space, reducing the need for artificial lighting.
The LAF’s new headquarters were completed in March of 2009 and was awarded with its LEED certification later that year. Since then, the Foundation’s new space has helped breath a new life into the neighborhood in the process of revitalization.
WHY THIS MATTERS:
By renovating an existing structure instead of building a completely new one, the Lance Armstrong Foundation was able to save on materials, energy and carbon emissions. In addition, the workplace encourages biking instead of driving, a practice that cuts down on carbon emissions that are speeding up global warming.
Images ©Hester + Hardaway, courtesy of Lake|Flato Architects