img(height="1" width="1" style="display:none" src="https://www.facebook.com/tr?id=2939831959404383&ev=PageView&noscript=1")

Texas architect champions adaptive reuse with own office refit

Rather than build anew, sustainable practice Lake|Flato has repurposed and retrofitted its 100-year-old building as a new, contemporary headquarters

In association with
Lake|Flato’s headquarters in San Antonio, Texas, repurposed from a 100-year-old building using sustainable technology.
Lake|Flato’s headquarters in San Antonio, Texas, repurposed from a 100-year-old building using sustainable technology. Credit: 311 Third Transformation, San Antonio, Texas, Lake|Flato. Image courtesy of Robert G. Gomez

This is an edited excerpt from an article that originally appeared on Autodesk Customer Stories

Read the full article here

In 1984, architects David Lake and Ted Flato established their architecture firm on the south side of the second floor of a historic building in downtown San Antonio, Texas.

Built in 1920, the three-storey structure at 311 Third St originally housed a Hupmobile dealership that sold electric cars. Subsequent tenants included a gospel radio station, a law firm, an investment bank and an interior design practice.

Lake|Flato expanded to the north side of the second floor in 1990, took over the third floor in 2003 and assumed full ownership of the building, and subsumed the first floor in 2005.

A decade later, the company was still growing and, by 2019, it had taken over the entire building - and had more than 100 employees. It was clear the firm had outgrown its space. Less clear was what it should do about it.

In 2020 the opportunity arose to complete a wholesale renovation of the 22,545ft² building without disturbing or displacing employees.

The company could have razed the structure and built anew, but instead Lake|Flato recognised the potential of adaptive reuse

Lake|Flato transformed a garage roof into a courtyard structure.
Lake|Flato transformed a garage roof into a courtyard structure. Credit: 311 Third Transformation, San Antonio, Texas, Lake|Flato. Image courtesy of Robert G. Gomez

By repurposing the existing building, it could create a more functional office space - a showpiece that embodied the merits of sustainable design.

‘We’re constantly telling clients that they should be paying attention to their carbon emissions,’ says Lake|Flato design performance manager Kate Sector.

'The built environment - encompassing building operations, as well as the embodied carbon in materials such as cement, iron, steel and aluminium - is responsible for about 42 per cent of annual global carbon dioxide emissions.

'Lots of people want a brand-new building and we could have had that,’ she explains, ‘but you can also find ways to celebrate historic buildings and make them into something really beautiful and unique. It felt really important for us to be able to demonstrate that to our clients.’

Because the goal was to create its dream office and to turn sustainable fantasies into tangible realities, Lake|Flato named its project ‘Living the Dream.’ While the conviction was simple, its execution was anything but.

To pull it off, the firm needed digital tools powerful enough to make the dream come true.

Read the full article to learn how Lake|Flato used digital technology as its wayfinder to turn a 100-year-old former car dealership into a future-focused hybrid workplace that showcases environmental sustainability and creative, collaborative design. 

For more information and technical support, visit autodesk.co.uk


Contact:
redshift@autodesk.com


 

Video, above: Watch how Lake|Flato architects transformed their more than 100-year-old building (video: 3:45 minutes).

Latest

Anyone who considers the one-off house to be simply the indulgent end of design should think again – we round up some rich examples of sustainable, stylish and innovative properties

Experts showcase sustainable, stylish and innovative houses

Recognised as one of the giants of the design world,  Enzo Mari was also staunchly ethical, believing that design should serve people rather than profits. Pamela Buxton visits a retrospective of his work at London’s Design Museum

A retrospective of Italian designer Enzo Mari at the Design Museum demonstrates his commitment to empowering the user

First-of-its-kind MSc teaches skills in generative design and design optioneering, making new AI tools for architecture possible

Artificial intelligence joins the syllabus for engineering and design

War delayed John Dryburgh’s baths, designed with the reinforced concrete specialist Oscar Faber, for over 20 years, but they were worth the wait

Design was compared to London’s Royal Festival Hall

Interiors specification suggestions ranging from kitchen to bathroom, floor to ceiling

Comfortable, practical and stylish ideas for interiors specifiers