New TBA HQ is Taking Shape in Austin’s Capitol Hill

  • Jul 19, 2021

By Jacqueline Dudley, Associate 

A new headquarters for the Texas Bankers Association in the Capitol Hill area of downtown Austin is taking shape. The Beck Group’s design-build project started construction in July. The new headquarters will stand out as a stunning mid-rise office building in growing downtown Austin when complete.

The 9-story neo brutalist building, located in place of The Texas Bankers Association’s previous HQ at 203 West 10th Street, will create a new landmark in downtown Austin with unobstructed views of the state Capital complex. Aside from its prime location, the project is a ‘landmark’ because of the collaboration between the design, preconstruction, and construction teams. This group provided TBA with an innovative, highly efficient building and unique structural system.

Thin grid-like columns and floor plates are pushed to the exterior, creating an ordered, stately appearance. This grid also provides a passive solar experience, allowing for maximized light while reducing the effect of hot sunlight. With an exterior column system and offset core to the west of the building, the floor plans are open and highly efficient, allowing for maximized tenant flexibility.

Using Design to Achieve A Long-Term Vision

TBA, a statewide banking advocacy and training organization, engaged The Beck Group to create a building that aligns with TBA’s long-term vision for its headquarters and Austin’s thriving business district.  Within the next few years, its new headquarters will join dozens of other planned office towers to be built in Austin, fueling one of the hottest areas for commercial real estate development in the country.

The nearly $30 million TBA headquarters project, slated to be complete in the first quarter of 2023, embodies Beck’s approach in designing and constructing impressive buildings on schedule and within clients’ budgets.

The new headquarters will consist of:

  • 9,300 SF rentable ground floor office space
  • 5 floors at 80,000 SF of rentable office space
  • 5 floors of above-grade parking totaling 202 spaces
  • A conference/event center on the top floor with an unobstructed view of the Capitol
  • A landscaped rooftop terrace designed to accommodate up to 500 people
  • 11,500 SF of space dedicated for TBA’s new office

Along with office space for TBA’s staff, the office tower is ideal for lobbyists, law firms, and other tenants that do business with the state government, given its proximity to the Capitol and other government offices.

It took resourcefulness, collaboration and good timing to create an aesthetically striking structure designed for the organization’s statewide presence and prospective tenants who enjoy the area’s rich history and entertainment scene.

Robust Collaboration Leads to Solutions

Beck’s design-build delivery model for the Class A multi-tenant office building took advantage of various opportunities and overcame challenges throughout the project’s design phase.  Using this approach, Beck and its trade partners met TBA’s plans for the building, allowing the team to avoid unforeseen and costly changes with commercial building projects.

The firm’s approach focuses on involving key participants early in the process, fostering robust collaboration among the design-build team, client and other stakeholders, pursuing continuous improvement, and providing the highest value without sacrificing the project scope or quality.

For example, Beck used cast-in-place concrete for the building’s façade to create a striking design with unique amenities without going over budget. The idea resulted from the collaboration between design and preconstruction, who discovered the cost of the concrete was affordable enough to use for the building’s construction and as a design feature.

This collaborative spirit also led to other design ideas. One example is the rooftop amenity space, wedge-shaped due to site constraints; it will offer permanent unobstructed and spectacular views of the Capitol Complex, Governor’s Mansion, and surrounding area. This space, available to all tenants, includes an adjacent landscaped outdoor patio large enough for large gatherings of up to 500 people.

The team created the headquarters’ grid-like design that permitted building as many office floors as possible without exceeding the city’s height limitations on downtown buildings.  Other examples of savvy collaboration include designing the rooftop and parking levels not to pose a security threat to the nearby governor’s mansion and find additional space to build the rooftop patio event space.

As part of a project-wide effort to be efficient, the building will use a high-energy efficient VRF mechanical system. Although more expensive initially, the system allows the building to operate more cost-effectively, using less energy over time. It requires a smaller amount of floor area and allows for more leasable space.

Design-Build Approach Achieves Complex Demands

The bold neo brutalist design of the TBA building reflects the 156-year-old organization’s resilient and innovative leadership in the state’s banking community.  The project also shows how Beck’s integrated design-build approach achieves the complex demands of constructing large-scale buildings and its significant and growing role in creating dynamic urban spaces.