Next Door Creative Offices is a response to the lack of studio work space in Austin for artists and creative professionals. We saw this project as an opportunity to provide studio workspace with the features that we liked in repurposed industrial loft buildings; high ceilings, abundant natural light and sturdy materials. We adapted this building type to a residential neighborhood, keeping the scale relatively small and incorporating landscape areas. Buildings wrap the perimeter of the block, enclosing gardens on the interior, with a network of rain gardens winding through. These outdoor areas provide places for people to relax and cross paths. The circulation areas are developed as places where people can get to know each other; workspaces either have doors opening directly onto the sidewalk, like the stoops of neighboring houses, or onto balcony walkways and stairs looking over garden areas.
Innovative adaptations of common materials give the project a specific character that is both unique and familiar. Precast concrete panels with a custom pattern of vertical lines anchor the buildings at the ground level, while metal box rib on the upper floors gives a feeling of lightness. The box rib is perforated at spaces of outdoor occupation – balconies or stairs – and adds a layered depth to the outer edge of the buildings.