816 Congress

Project Location

Austin, TX



Photography credit

Firm credit

Creative Partners

Project Partners

Delineate Studio


Recent development trends have seen an expansion of the central business district away from this section of Congress Avenue, resulting in 816 losing traction in a competitive market. The building had gone through a number of small renovations that lacked a cohesive visual unity. We were hired to reimagine the ground floor public spaces and entry sequence in an effort to add value, vitality, visibility, purpose and beauty to the property, as well as amplify the tenant experience and attract new tenants back to the north end of the avenue.

On the exterior, our design will remove the dated and visually overpowering colonnade and disconnected planter beds, which impede circulation and views to the building's main entry. A signature new outdoor courtyard serves as an extension of the lobby and is framed by a long wood bench, large shaded trees and is finished with elegant accent lighting and cobblestone paving. The building entry will be simplified to a single, larger glass expanse creating more visibility to the entry and lobby from Congress Avenue.

The interior posed several challenges, including dark and dated finishes and an awkward spatial layout. A new light stone floor will complement custom cast glass walls that reflect the natural light, while cast sculptural column covers will support a new fluted ceiling. A colorful hanging sculpture inspired by bat swarms, a familiar downtown sight, and accent walls will animate the space. These strategic updates will unify the property with a holistic vision and enhance the visitor and tenant experience.

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