About the Design Team
The LTL design team accommodated a $4.3 million building budget by capitalizing on the inherent qualities of the existing building. The new design features were tactical, seeking the greatest effect and impact from precise deployment.
An innovative, award-winning architecture partnership founded in 1997, LTL actively pursues a diverse range of work, from large-scale academic and cultural buildings to interior architecture and speculative research. LTL Architects are currently included in the Museum of Modern Art exhibition titled Rising Currents: Projects for New York’s Waterfront, the first exhibition of architectural work commissioned by MoMA since 1967.
© Michael Moran
The new AMOA-Arthouse is an expansion of the existing contemporary art space, reworked to maintain many of the original architectural qualities of the building as it has evolved over the past 100 years. The new design employs inventive elements that combine function with aesthetics, and features tactical additions that intensify the building’s layered history. The new design is a vital urban presence for contemporary architecture and art in the heart of downtown Austin.
• The usable space of the building is expanded from 7,000 to 20,830 square feet as the previously inaccessible 2nd floor now boasts a large column- free gallery and features a mobile suspended 57 feet long by 13 feet high wall. In addition, the building is reconfigured to house an entry lounge, first floor galleries, a dedicated video/film gallery, a 90-seat community/screening room, two studios, a public mezzanine lounge and a rooftop event space.
• The glass-lined entry lobby opens the building up to the street, allowing views from the sidewalk far into the building. A sculptural plaster awning, referencing the former department store, intensifies the public presence and openness of the building.
• The exterior skin of the building is perforated with 177 custom laminated glass units 4 inches wide by 16 inches high, which are clustered to selectively allow light into the building. Illuminated by LED lights at night, the blocks animate the public faces of the building.
• The original Queen Theater’s large stucco murals are exposed as are the original wooden ceiling and steel trusses. Throughout the building, historical features and contemporary additions are creatively intertwined.
• Playful and grand, the central stair provides spatial and visual connections to the second floor gallery. The bottom three steps of the stair are cast concrete, while the rest of the stair is Ipe wood and dramatically suspends up to 35 feet down from the roof, forming an unprecedented majestic space.
• The roof deck, made of Ipe wood and laminated glass light boxes, measures 5,000 square feet and is equipped with a 22 by 13 foot movie screen. The deck provides panoramic views of downtown Austin.