Office Spotlight: 98 San Jacinto Blvd
This project was a complete renovation of an existing restaurant building into the new offices for Resignation Media, now Chive Media Group, a company who relocated from Venice, California. The two-story building situated in downtown Austin presented many challenges. Mold, deteriorating structure and outdated and failing infrastructure forced an unexpected re-skinning and partial restructuring of the 11,690 square foot building.
Upon entering the building through the new open-air vestibule carved out of previously interior space, is a walnut clad soffit filled with hundreds of individual LED lights. This leads the visitor to the reception and waiting area, through the workspace and to the break room and bar on the upper level. Two executive offices with a bathroom and shower shared by the two founders who are also brothers, phone rooms and conference room are also located on this level.
To create a sense of community and shared space between the two levels while bringing in more natural light, a large area of existing floor was removed to create an atrium with a structurally dynamic stair. Constructed of a single steel tube stringer and cantilevered treads with a glass guard rail, this new element provided the physical and psychological connection the client required. While there are essentially four different “offices” on two levels the necessity for a cohesive design was paramount. Expanding on forms of physical connection with regards to circulation, Chioco Design also incorporated a walnut butcher-block slide which promotes the company’s casual attitude.
The open workspaces were designed to be flexible. Desks and partitions needed to be easily moveable for the occasional event or party. The client was not partial to many of the “cubical” workstations available so Chioco Design came up with a modular partition system constructed of a tube steel frame, steel panels and walnut boxes, all on casters for mobility.
Chive Media Group is the umbrella company to a group of diverse entities that includes the world’s largest photo entertainment website, a nonprofit charity, a music festival organization, and their own beer label. Our approach was to create an environment that combined workspace with entertainment space. The office culture is young and energetic and committed to a lifestyle of blending work and play. It must function as an office but have the spirit of a home, restaurant and bar combined.
Using an edited and carefully selected materials palette throughout strengthens this cohesiveness. Walnut floors and walls, plasma cut decorative steel panels, 3-dimensional concrete tiles, black glazed brick tile, wood siding with a Shou Sugi ban finish (charred surface), copper and glass combine to make a rich and warm environment.
Photographer: Casey Dunn Photography
Designer: Chioco Design