Gensler Offices – San Antonio

Gensler's new San Antonio office reflects the revitalization of the surrounding city while staying true to the firm's core design philosophy.

  • Client Gensler,
  • size 6,500 sqft
  • Year 2019
  • Location San Antonio, Texas, United States,
  • Industry Architecture Firm, Design,
  • Gensler has completed the innovative design of their offices located in the historic district of San Antonio, Texas.

    San Antonio is on the cusp of a modern renaissance as its urban core sees a new wave of revitalization. After spending more than a decade shaping the city’s transformation, Gensler has established a permanent home on one of the city’s most active and historically significant streets. In their new office, the firm seeks to honor the vibrant local legacy while showcasing Gensler’s global brand. Through innovative design, the office strives to be a cutting-edge model of the modern workplace, the only one of its kind in downtown San Antonio.

    The Schaum building on Houston Street sat vacant for more than 40 years, but is now seeing new life as the home to Gensler’s growing local staff. Gensler collaborated with the building owner to restore the core and shell while maintaining its unique art deco façade. Through a subtle interpretation of art deco lines, the design team incorporated the building’s historic legacy into the office’s modern aesthetic. Geometric screen walls positioned in multiple areas of the office provide a contemporary take on the building’s original steel windows. The walls’ floor-to-ceiling fins custom milled in a triangular shape and coated in metallic varnish showcase the careful craft of Gensler’s design.

    Gensler’s second floor location offers elevated views while street-level signage and ground floor access ensure enhanced presence on heavily trafficked Houston Street. The office is integrated into the urban fabric of the city, drawing from its colorful surroundings to inspire the artwork on its walls. A custom graffiti mural by street artist Anthony Rose references the iconic graffiti murals in San Antonio’s West Side neighborhood. The left side of the mural incorporates a monochromatic map of San Antonio, gradually morphing into a colorful abstract design reading “300 Next” as a nod to the city’s recent tricentennial anniversary.

    Community drives the office’s open floor plan, maximizing opportunities for collaboration. The space is organized into north and south studios, which meet in the middle to form a work café. Featuring an oversized island, the work café is the perfect touchdown space for studio meetings and informal gatherings. The design lab is another central touchpoint for the two studios, offering a multipurpose meeting space that serves as a materials library, pin-up area, and charette space. Throughout the building, high ceilings let in ample natural light while an elevated grayscale color palette and natural wood flooring emphasize the overall openness of the space. Drawing inspiration from its hospitality practice, the Gensler San Antonio office welcomes all who enter.

    Design: Gensler
    Design Team: Jim Shelton, Adriana Moreno, Efrain Vergara
    Contractor: GW Mitchell Construction
    Photography: Elena Grey