Austin Transportation & Creative Center
By Ashley Chen
Interior Design 6 | Allison Gaskins
The goal of Austin Transportation & Creative Center is to create a place of connection by connecting visitors and Austinites alike to the city’s unique culture by highlighting the voice of local artists and their craft. Because our city's art is part of what Keeps Austin Weird, the center strives to foster a greater appreciation for art and the handcraft behind it by making it the focus of the design and providing workshop spaces for art education.
With the workshop spaces being adjacent to the main circulation paths in the building and across from the main waiting area, the visitors and the artists maintain a visual connection, truly making the handcraft of the art the focal point. Both workshop spaces are wrapped with an extruded terracotta curtain system. The curtain was designed with a pattern that provides visual breaks by creating gaps between the terracotta where light shines through the glass blocks that are inserted in some of those gaps. In the interior of the workshop spaces, softness is introduced through the materiality and form of the felt elements (curtain, walls, and perforated ceiling) which contrast the rigidity and hardness of the existing steel and masonry structure. On the exterior and interior of the workshop spaces, the color teal wraps the entire area representing a jewelry box with the artists being the jewels.
Throughout the building, each space, in its materiality and form, introduces softness to complement the existing structure. By introducing elements that bring softness into the existing building, the design honors the beauty and history of the existing structure by setting it apart from the new forms to remind people of a part of Austin’s history while bringing excitement and life into the space by showcasing what makes Austin Austin today: it’s art and the skilled people behind it.