THANK YOU ANDREW

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A huge thank you to our great high school intern Andrew Williamson. Andrew worked in our office part-time for two weeks as part of the Austin Waldorf School Scholastic Internship program where students find positions on the work place for two weeks as part of the tenth grade curriculum. Andrew is now off to Germany as part of an exchange program. We wish him the best of luck!

New York Times: David Street Feature

We’re very excited to announce that the New York Times featured our David Street project in both print (Sunday paper!) and online versions of the “On Location” column. A big thanks to author Tim McKeough, clients Nirav and Carla, builder Alex Ferdman, cabinet maker Wayne Owens, and photographer Leonid Furmansky.

The online article can be found here.




SCHOOL DESIGN: HALLWAYS

Students spend a lot of time moving between classes. The stairs and hallways, they move through are important spaces. At the Griffin School the two hallways are vibrant functional social spaces. Read more about the school here.

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The hallway contains exhibition space for the student’s artwork as well as the lockers. Acoustics are controlled by a layered ceiling system that contains concealed acoustic insulation and lighting while also concealing the supply air diffusers.

First Floor Hallway

First Floor Hallway

On the first floor the hallway is single-loaded, meaning the functional spaces the hallway serves, like classrooms, are on one side.

Douglas Fir Hallway Window Wall

Douglas Fir Hallway Window Wall

The other side is a window wall built from exposed Douglas Fir wood studs which looks out on the outdoor courtyard and porch area. The large shaded south facing windows connect the hallway with the outdoor space and bring in abundant natural light.

Section diagram showing the relationship between the first and second floor hallways

Section diagram showing the relationship between the first and second floor hallways

On the second floor the hallway widens to become a student lounge and informal work area. The second floor lounge area overhangs the south facing courtyard creating a porch space on the first floor next to the hallway shading both the porch area and the large hallway windows.

A Griffin School teaching taking a break in the second floor lounge

A Griffin School teaching taking a break in the second floor lounge

Second Floor Plan showing wide Hallway/Lounge Area

Second Floor Plan showing wide Hallway/Lounge Area

A deep recessed operable window in the 2nd floor lounge allows views out across the neighborhood and into the trees.

Night View showing both first and second floor hallways visible from the courtyard

Night View showing both first and second floor hallways visible from the courtyard

Eloise House Expansion OPENING

SAFE Alliance staff in front the the new Eloise House. Photo: Emma Rogers

SAFE Alliance staff in front the the new Eloise House. Photo: Emma Rogers

SAFE Alliance recently celebrated the expansion of Eloise House, a facility that provides forensic exams to survivors of sexual assault. We were honored to have been involved in the project having donated our design and construction administration services. Eastside Lumber made a generous donation of framing material and James Hardie Company donated siding material. The completed project can be found here on our web site.

Since the program’s inception in 2015, forensic nursing and sexual assault advocacy teams have responded to more than 2,000 visits from sexual assault survivors in Central Texas. With the overwhelming number of visits, the community need to expand was clear. The expansion of Eloise House forensic clinic provides two additional exam rooms, an additional restroom, and a shower.

Murray Legge Architecture provided architectural services pro bono. The project was made possible by generous donations of time and material by the following:

Southwest Corporation - Construction
Eastside Lumber - Materials
Julie Schneider - Interior Design

Murray Legge speaking with Austin council members Kathie Tovo and Greg Casar, Mike Halloran (Southwest Corporation), and Randy Meek (Eastside Lumber). Photo: Emma Rogers

Murray Legge speaking with Austin council members Kathie Tovo and Greg Casar, Mike Halloran (Southwest Corporation), and Randy Meek (Eastside Lumber). Photo: Emma Rogers

Clerestory windows provide abundant natural light throughout each room and frame views of the surrounding tree tops while maintaining patient privacy. Photo: Emma Rogers

Clerestory windows provide abundant natural light throughout each room and frame views of the surrounding tree tops while maintaining patient privacy. Photo: Emma Rogers

The section diagram shows how long high clerestory windows bring natural light into the small spaces while offering views of the sky and and surrounding trees. The high windows, while offering views and natural light make the spaces feel private and protected.

Section diagram showing views of the sky

Section diagram showing views of the sky

SCHOOL DESIGN: STAIRS

Students spend a lot of time moving between classes. The stairs and hallways they move through are important spaces. At the Griffin School there are two stairs connecting floors, one interior and the other exterior, placed at opposite ends of the building.

Central Exterior Stair photo: Leonid Furmansky

Central Exterior Stair photo: Leonid Furmansky

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The exterior stair ascends between the new building and the central courtyard space. From this conspicuous location the stair connects the central courtyard with the second-floor lounge. Students moving up and down the stair can interact with the people in the courtyard.

photo: Leonid Furmansky

photo: Leonid Furmansky

Stair Landing as meeting space photo: Leonid Furmansky

Stair Landing as meeting space photo: Leonid Furmansky

The stair becomes a platform and extension of the outdoor space and a part of the courtyard experience. As you pass next to an old Mesquite tree from the landing you can also catch a glimpse of birds nesting in the tree branches.

Dove nesting in the Mesquite tree visible from the exterior stair landing

Dove nesting in the Mesquite tree visible from the exterior stair landing

The stair is carefully detailed so that it is elegant and transparent in appearance while being very durable

The concrete and steel stair is infilled with a durable stainless steel mesh photo: Leonid Furmansky

The concrete and steel stair is infilled with a durable stainless steel mesh photo: Leonid Furmansky

Stair landing photo: Leonid Furmansky

Stair landing photo: Leonid Furmansky

The interior stair, located at the opposite corner of the building, takes its shape from the steeply pitched school building roof. This dramatic roof shape is revealed above you when you walk up the stair from the first floor.

Cross section through interior stair

Cross section through interior stair

photo: Leonid Furmansky

photo: Leonid Furmansky

The second-floor ceiling follows the roof slope creating, momentarily, a theatrical experience for students and staff moving between floors. A small west facing window allows for a punch of western sun light to illuminate the space.  

West facing window photo: Leonid Furmansky

West facing window photo: Leonid Furmansky

SCHOOL DESIGN: Site design and outdoor rooms

There are many considerations when site planning for schools. Forming useful outdoor spaces, especially in a southern climate when the outdoors can be used most of the year, is important.

The Griffin School 2nd floor lounge over looks the central courtyard. Photo: Leonid Furmansky

The Griffin School 2nd floor lounge over looks the central courtyard. Photo: Leonid Furmansky

Students spend much of their time moving between classes. The spaces they move through are important for social interaction and can be developed as lounges, spaces for events and informal educational spaces.

Students moving between classes. Photo: Leonid Furmansky

Students moving between classes. Photo: Leonid Furmansky

With our Griffin School project, a high school in central Austin, we added a new building to the existing campus. In designing the space we work closely with our consultants landscape architects Studio Balcones and our civil engineers Civilitude.

Site Plan 1. New Building 2 ,3 Existing Buildings 4. Courtyard 5. Street 6. Alley

Site Plan 1. New Building 2 ,3 Existing Buildings 4. Courtyard 5. Street 6. Alley

The new south facing building frames a central courtyard space. This courtyard is a vibrant common space that the students move through between classes. The space also functions for recreation, informal classes and school events. We placed the central stair to the 2nd floor classrooms on the exterior next to the courtyard space so that it would interact with the space. It’s also used as an informal podium onto the courtyard.

From the central stair Adam Wilson, the school director, addresses people gather for an event in the courtyard. Photo: Leonid Furmansky

From the central stair Adam Wilson, the school director, addresses people gather for an event in the courtyard. Photo: Leonid Furmansky