A prime example of the City of Austin’s Smart Growth initiative for downtown, this former warehouse was renovated to become the new corporate headquarters for Schlotzsky’s Deli, Inc., an international restaurant franchise. The project, completed in 1998, has made a significant contribution to the renewed interest in Downtown Austin and has proven to be a catalyst for similar renovations.
Through careful design, original elements of the 39,000-square-foot building were retained to express its warehouse character. New windows were added to bring light into the interior, while galvanized metal sunshades soften the light and animate the façade. On the interior, the original structural elements, as well as new structural beams, were left exposed in keeping with the warehouse aesthetic. A large section of the second-floor slab was removed to form a central sky-lit atrium, around which offices and workspaces are arranged.
The design has had a significant impact on the social and physical well being of the project’s users. A small physical conditioning space was provided. Showers and lockers are available for employees who bicycle to work. Employees work in an environment suffused with natural light from ample windows and skylights. The raising of the ceiling at the atrium allowed for clerestory windows, which fill the conference rooms and adjacent workspaces with light and provide views of the buildings downtown. The grand stairway in the atrium centralizes circulation and encourages casual interaction, while providing an identity and focal point for the new Schlotzsky’s Headquarters.
Sustainable features include the adaptive reuse of an old warehouse, incorporation of natural day lighting and shading devices that do not trap rising heat against the building. The Schlotzsky’s Headquarters project has received awards from the American Institute of Architects, Austin (1998 Honor Award), the International Interior Design Association (1998 Corporate Design, Honorable Mention) and the Associate General Contractors of America, Austin (1998 Outstanding Construction Award).