901 East Sixth is a 125,000sf 5-story office building on the eastside of Austin, two blocks from the interstate. The project was undertaken in partnership with Delineate Studio and an owner team led by Endeavor Real Estate Group. The goal of the design was for the building to feel at home in its eclectic neighborhood context, which is creative, multi-cultural and light-industrial. Rather than conceptualise the development as an extension of downtown, we looked to the qualities that make turn-of-the-century warehouses vibrant contemporary workspaces - high ceilings, large operable windows, exposed structure and utilitarian material palettes that patina well over time.
The building is the first in Texas to use Cross-Laminated-Timber (CLT) as part of a composite structural system. The steel columns and beams span 45’-0”, allowing for large, flexible column-free floor plates, while the mass timber floor decks add warmth and function as a finished ceiling. At the double-height entry lobby, a 25’ tall bi-fold door enables the space to be dramatically opened up to the street during special events. It also serves as a showcase window for the CLT, which is visible at the ceiling as well as in a full-height ‘feature wall' assembled from waste off-cuts. In the elevator cabs, the design team licensed ‘woodcut’ relief prints from the estate of artist Bryan Nash Gill, which were installed as dramatic backlit panels on the rear walls. The building is clad in a distinctive tapered corten panel while a wrap-around balcony at the second level gives added depth to the street-facing facade.
The building received a LEED Gold certification. In addition to the environmental credentials of wood and steel, this was achieved through a highly efficient VRF mechanical system, HVAC condensate collection for irrigation, below-grade parking, bike storage, showers, electrical vehicle charging stations and tenant sub-metering systems. Smart passive design strategies include limiting full-height glass to recessed facades. The building was fully leased prior to completion of construction, underlining its success as a unique offering in the Austin market.
In 2019, the Austin Chapter of the Urban Land Institute recognized the project with its 'Best Project Innovation' Impact Award. The building also received an Honorable Mention in the The Architect's Newspaper Best of 2019 Design Awards and a Regional Excellence Award in the 2020 US Wood Design Awards.