The multimedia behemoth South by Southwest (SXSW) just broke ground on its new “green” headquarters in downtown Austin. Located a block away from the city Capitol, the striking building aims for LEED Gold certification and will boast a large green roof, rain gardens, and other energy-efficient systems. Pei Cobb Freed & Partners Architects heads the design of the new mixed-use structure and will work together with landscape architecture firm dwg. to preserve the property’s existing heritage live oaks.
The 280,000-square-foot glass-clad SXSW Headquarters will comprise 12 floors—five of which will be dedicated to parking for 300 cars—and consolidate the company’s various campuses. The new building sports a serpentine shape optimized for views of the Capitol dome and to preserve the grove of heritage live oaks. The curved building also serves to frame an inviting new public plaza with rain gardens, seating, and pedestrian pathways at the corner of Lavaca and 14th Streets. A spacious cafe and flexible, informal coworking spaces will complement the ground-floor entry and lobby.
“Their special vision led to a transformation of the typical office building paradigm,” said lead designer Yvonne Szeto of the SXSW founders. “The lobby was reimagined not as a traditional circulation space but as a relaxed and welcoming living room that fosters interaction between tenants as well as with the neighboring community.”
Related: Energy-efficient Bluebonnet Studios offers sustainable housing to Austin’s most vulnerable citizens
A major highlight of the building will be The Rooftop Deck, a 2,000-square-foot covered patio surrounded by greenery that’s located 165 feet above downtown Austin for sweeping views of the Capitol and Hill Country. The project is slated for completion in 2019.
Renderings by Pei Cobb Freed & Partners and CZ Properties