UpCycle Office

The Project

In the heart of East Austin, Texas, on the site of a former recycling center, a new type of shared office space is utilizing elements from the former warehouses of the neighborhood.

UpCycle is a shared office and creative space, designed by Gensler and repurposes almost all of the original 1972 warehouse building.

The modern office space features amenities such as conference space, collaborative areas, a coffee bar and a fitness center.  Located in the fast-growing East Austin neighborhood, UpCycle is located minutes from Austin’s central business district and is surrounded by a host of new apartments and entertainment venues. 

Austin, Texas, USA
Travis Albrecht, Gensler
Ferris Structures LLC
81,711 sq. ft.

A Tribute to the Past, While Looking Forward

The name of the office comes from the former location of Balcones Recycling Center, which the current UpCycle building now occupies.  The industrial ethos of the original building influenced the aesthetic design of the project.

The design reuses 95% of the existing structure, even the building skin, which is turned inside out to reveal its natural finish.  The building becomes energy efficient by using Kingspan KarrierPanel under this skin, insulating the building envelope.

Kingspan KarrierPanel is the ideal barrier wall to support secondary rainscreen systems, such as the vintage single-skin metal facades repurposed from the original warehouse design.
The ethos of the building seeks to highlight its industrial past, and even includes a repurposed train car which serves as a front porch lounge equipped with seating, WiFi, and music.

This addition is a symbolic metaphor of the buildings purpose – to highlight the past, but also capturing the spirit of traveling into a new era.

Utilizing Natural Light

In addition to reincorporating outdoor panels that had already been sprayed with with graffiti, Gensler commissioned five graffiti artists for the lobby and interior social areas.

Clerestory windows and garage-door-style roll-up windows were also added to bring in more natural light into the interior office space.
UpCycle office is a great example of the revitalization that can happen when we repurpose existing warehouses into modern, energy-efficient offices and creative spaces.

Products used on this project


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Case study PDF of UpCycle Office is Austin, Texas, USA

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