A Software Company’s New Offices Balance Efficiency with Imagination

Enthought’s new space gives off a coffeehouse vibe, as it balances efficiency with imagination.

When software company Enthought, Inc. enlisted interior architecture firm lauckgroup to remodel their Austin office, they envisioned an environment that reflected the company’s commitment to efficiency, imagination and collaboration. Through installing work pods and a centrally-located café and integrating an industrial aesthetic with brick and wood elements, lauckgroup transformed Enthought’s 15,970-square-foot office into a warehouse-like space with warm tones and a neighborhood coffeehouse feel.

The entry way is finished by a backdrop of floor-to-ceiling black reclaimed wood slats. Image courtesy of Peter Molick.

The entry way is finished by a backdrop of floor-to-ceiling black reclaimed wood slats. Image courtesy of Peter Molick.

When was the project completed?

June 2017

How much space?

15,970 RSF

Was this new or renovated space?

Renovated

How many employees, and what is the daily population?

46

lauckgroup designed a welcoming entry area with a hospitality bar, soft seating, an aged brick accent wall, wood flooring and a hand-woven rug exude a professional yet relaxed ambience. Image courtesy of Peter Molick.

lauckgroup designed a welcoming entry area with a hospitality bar, soft seating, an aged brick accent wall, wood flooring and a hand-woven rug exude a professional yet relaxed ambience. Image courtesy of Peter Molick.

Describe work-space types. 

The office includes a range of work space types, from group spaces like the café, huddle rooms, open collaborative spaces, and conference rooms, to enclosed offices.

What kind of meeting spaces are provided?

A large centrally-located café serves as an inviting central hub for the staff, and multiple work settings dispersed throughout the suite encourage team interactions and brainstorming. The glass walls that surround the work spaces double as markerboards.

What other kind of support space or amenity spaces are provided?

There is a welcoming entry area with a hospitality bar and soft seating. The central café is designed to be used as a break room in addition to a work space, as illustrated by its bar height and booth seating.

The large café serves as an inviting central hub for the staff, featuring the office’s key design components — a balance of refined and rough material — to encourage the neighborhood coffee house feel. Image courtesy of Peter Molick.

The large café serves as an inviting central hub for the staff, featuring the office’s key design components — a balance of refined and rough material — to encourage the neighborhood coffee house feel. Image courtesy of Peter Molick.

What is the project’s location and proximity to public transportation and/or other amenities?

Enthought is located on West Cesar Chavez overlooking the trail and Lady Bird Lake.

What kind of programming or visioning activities were used?

lauckgroup held a vision session and interviews with Enthought prior to designing the space in order to assess the company’s culture and goals.

Were there any other kind of employee engagement activities?

An employee of Enthought has a creative background and created the room signage and will be creating a custom graphic that will be featured in the entry.

lauckgroup introduced warehouse windows to allow for natural light, with a datum line throughout the space to allow for privacy. Image courtesy of Peter Molick.

lauckgroup introduced warehouse windows to allow for natural light, with a datum line throughout the space to allow for privacy. Image courtesy of Peter Molick.

Please describe any program requirements that were unique or required any special research or design requirements.

Enthought wanted to incorporate elements from their UK office into the Austin office. The UK office had full-height glass workstation pods, but this approach did not fit the warehouse feel. By introducing the black warehouse windows and the square metal windows to the clerestory, as well as a datum line throughout the space, lauckgroup integrated elements from the UK office while staying true to the industrial aesthetic.

Was there any emphasis or requirements on programming for health and wellbeing initiatives for employees?

Enthought’s culture is collaborative, efficient, imaginative, nice, smart and inquisitive. The company asked that the new office exude a relaxed feel that fell in line with their culture. With this in mind, lauckgroup designed various work settings, including booth seating in the café, lounge areas with connectivity, and private meeting spaces with soft seating.

Warehouse windows create continuity between the UK office and the Austin one. Image courtesy of Peter Molick.

Warehouse windows create continuity between the UK office and the Austin one. Image courtesy of Peter Molick.

Were there any special or unusual construction materials or techniques employed in the project?

Knowing that Enthought wanted to make a strong first impression on those visiting the space, lauckgroup designed a welcoming entry area with an aged brick accent wall, wood flooring and a backdrop of floor-to-ceiling black reclaimed wood slats.

For specific examples, please describe the product, how it was used, and if it solved any specific problem.

The slats serve to divide the space and coordinate with the black window mullions.

What were the major furniture products used?

Bar height and booth seating were used in the café, in addition to task seating around the large wooden table. The reception area features an upholstered sofa and natural wood coffee table, and the enclosed offices and collaborative spaces feature a combination of lounge and task seating.

What kind of branding elements were incorporated into the design?

The blue and grey color palette is a direct influence from Enthought’s logo and brand colors. The brand’s logo can also be seen in front of the entrance to the office.

What is the most unique feature of the new space?

The most defining feature of Enthought’s new space is the large café that serves as an inviting central hub for the staff, spacious enough for office meetings and game nights. The communal space maintains the office’s key design components — a balance of refined and rough material — to encourage the neighborhood coffeehouse feel.

Were there post occupancy surveys? If so, what were the most surprising or illuminating or hoped-for results?

There were no post occupancy surveys, but the client let lauckgroup know that growth was exceeding expectation and recruitment was up. Enthought believes that the design has helped propel this growth. Over 80 percent of the offer letters extended are accepted.

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