Located on North Lamar Boulevard just north of downtown Austin, Clayton Korte’s office embodies the firm’s commitment to interdisciplinary collaboration and to fostering discourse in the design community. Officially named Design Office, the mid-century office space is home to two design practices, Clayton Korte and Word + Carr Design Group, a landscape architecture firm.
The 1963, steel-framed, brick-infill building needed a lot of work, but Clayton Korte recognized the untapped potential of its raw spaces. The 10,000-square-foot, two-story structure is set into the hillside abutting one of Austin’s principle thoroughfares. A severe slope and unstable soils meant the first order of business was stabilizing the structure. Following stabilization, the dreary interior was gutted to allow for a minimal set of new spaces. Small perimeter windows doubled in size to bring in more light and treetop views of the adjacent Pease Park. Perimeter interior walls were clad in homesite and topped with industrial felt. A few private offices are pulled to the corners, ensuring an open, free-flowing floor plan.
The former utilitarian stair connecting the first and second floors was removed. The remaining opening was widened to accommodate a wood-wrapped stairway featuring a steel stringer with exposed weld joints and oil-finished post oak, harvested following a severe drought in 2011. Ceilings and floors remain raw. Plate steel baseboards continue the minimalist aesthetic. Custom steel windows and interior doors were fabricated in-house. A new, glass-and-steel facade welcomes visitors upon entry at the front of the building. Exterior brick is lime-washed, a simple durable finish traditionally used in the area.
Architecture: Clayton Korte
Interior Design: Clayton Korte
General Contractor: Burnish & Plumb
Landscape Architect: Word + Carr Design Group
Structural Engineer: Scott Williamson, P.E.
Metal Fabrication: Drophouse Design