Perkins and Will's Austin studio has united its once separate studios in a custom-designed workplace at The Foundry, a vibrant mixed-use destination in the heart of East Austin. Merged nearly two years ago, Perkins and Will and Texas-based interior design firm lauckgroup were continuing operations from different buildings on opposite sides of town. Now, the two will be working out of a new studio, located at 1501 East 4th Street, strengthening the practice's presence in Austin and enhancing creative collaboration, which is key to design innovation.
"It is exciting to begin the next chapter of our growing Austin studio in a beautifully and thoughtfully designed workspace," commented Chi Lee, Austin studio principal. "It not only represents our core values but also celebrates the diversity of our people and the evolving ways we all work."
"Great design is about people, relationships, context, and experience," added Angela Whitaker-Williams, Austin studio principal. "Through its design, our new workplace will support our culture and love for design excellence. We're looking forward to strengthening our relationship with the Austin community to design buildings and spaces that offer a fresh perspective and work in harmony with their dynamic surroundings."
Fresh off the heels of the firm's global rebrand, the design of the 15,000-square-foot Austin studio reflects the firm's new visual identity-including its core values-while celebrating Austin's unique character. Warm and welcoming, the workspace reflects the firm's commitment to human-centered design with a distinctly Austin setting.
Inspired by the spontaneity of Austin's street art scene, the office's columns feature bright pops of Perkins and Will brand colors as a representation of the unified practices and diverse cultures that set the studio apart from its contemporaries. These stripes also help define work zones into vignettes that are outfitted with furniture pieces informed by the color combinations on each column. Color accents are kept low to the ground, such as on the legs of furniture, providing bursts of design inspiration while maintaining a neutral base palette for visualizing design projects in progress. The new office reflects a modern yet inclusive aesthetic that aids in both placemaking and storytelling.
Designed to earn Fitwel certification, the open-plan workplace features a high walkability score, outdoor courtyard space, active workstations, and a wellness room. The studio is equipped with flexible walls, free-standing conference rooms, moveable technology, a high tech model workshop with 3D printers, and a materials library. This adaptability ensures design teams can meet evolving client needs. Spaces were further defined through semi- or fully transparent dividers such as glass-fronted huddle rooms, breeze block partitions, and chainmail curtains that added to the minimalist and raw aesthetic of the space.
Locally-sourced materials help define the space and connect it to its locale, and the design prioritizes access to daylight. Designed to be LEED Gold certified, sustainable healthy building materials, recycling, composting, optimized energy performance, water reductions, and daylighting throughout the space make our studio a healthy and environmentally responsible space to work.
Photos: Perkins and Will