SoFlo Office Studios
A decrepit truck-trailer manufacturing plant becomes green office spaces for two firms.
Alamo Architects and OCO Architects
San Antonio, Texas
Alamo Architects and OCO Architects jointly purchased a 1940s truck-trailer manufacturing plant on a 2-acre lot in downtown San Antonio. Rather than demolish the dilapidated structures, the architects sought to integrate the industrial property into a mixed-use building, which would provide two office spaces for the firms, while honoring the industrial heritage of the area.
After the abatement of the corrugated cement-asbestos siding, roofing, and window glazing compounds, the remaining shell structures were re-clad in galvanized corrugated metal and roofing, and new operable windows and storefronts. The industrial vocabulary was celebrated with the reuse of the steel sash clerestory windows as handrails and guardrails, the recycling of the long leaf pine flooring as interior wall cladding, and door and window casings. The existing steel and wood sectional garage doors were recycled as partition end caps and wall panels in both office interiors.
The existing multi-level mezzanine structure of steel pipe, angles, and channels was reconfigured as three distinct entry gates, two for the individual firms, and one as a common courtyard entrance from the staff parking area. The balance of the industrial sash windows was re-glazed with expanded metal, and was used as fence components.
The east courtyard, centered on a lush landscape bed with a concrete tank fishpond, has become the beer garden, a formal and informal meeting place for both firms’ employees. The reclaimed and reused materials were left in their aging, unfinished condition. The skeleton of the old fabrication shed was restored as the framework for the beer garden trellis.
The original concrete paving, as well as some from a nearby site, was reused as” poor man’s flagstone.” The largest pieces were simply tilted up and secured to recycled posts as the fence along the north and west property line. The height was kept low enough that the immense agaves and succulents growing next door were incorporated visually into the firm’s entry and visitors’ courtyards.
A 6,500-gallon cistern collects rainwater and HVAC condensate for landscape irrigation. Office areas have unobstructed views to the courtyards and utilize day lighting. Only a 5 percent volume of the construction waste, including demolition, was sent to the landfill. This project was awarded LEED Silver Certification by the USGBC in 2008.
Magnificent So Flo Seven, LLC
O’Neil Conrad Oppelt Architects, Inc.
Personnel in architect's firm who should receive special credit:
O’Neil Conrad Oppelt Architects, Inc.-
Architect of record
Mike McGlone, AIA
Victor Castillo – Alamo Architects
DBR Engineering Consultants - MEP
Landscape: Root Design Company
Malitz Construction Company – John Malitz, Rene Munoz,PM
Chris Cooper Photography (210)846-0852 All images except for Alamo Employees image which was taken by Bob Wickley Photography (210) 602-9910.
CAD system, project management, or other software used:
Existing, Recycled/New fabrication by Russ Steel
Metal/glass curtainwall: Berridge Metal
Wood: Reycled Long Leaf Pine
Other: Stainless Steel Perforated Sun Shades - McNichols
Sliding doors: Custom using Salvaged Metal, Stanley Track(OCO Architects)
Suspension grid: Perforated Steel cable trays by Russ Steel
Cabinetwork and custom woodwork: Glenn Dicus and Russ Steel
Paints and stains: Sherwin Williams
Plastic laminate: Abet Laminati (Alamo Architects)
Floor and wall tile: Casa Dolce Casa - Restrooms (Alamo Architects) American Olean - Breakroom and Restrooms (OCO)
Resilient flooring: Roppe (Alamo Architects)
Carpet: Monterey, Interface Flooring (Alamo Architects)
Office furniture: Custom Built work surfaces and tables
Reception furniture: Bernhardt Design, Herman Miller, Josef Hoffman (Alamo Architects)
Chairs: Haworth, Herman Miller (Alamo Architects)
Conference Chairs: E.A. Clore Sons Inc. (OCO Architects)
Tables: Nienkamper (Alamo Architects) Custom Built (OCO Architects)
Upholstery: Maharam (Alamo Architects)
Other furniture (use additional sheet if necessary): Janus et Cie, Pankotto (Alamo Architects)IKEA (OCO Architects)
Interior ambient lighting: Lithonia (OCO Architects)
Track Lighting: Prescolite
Task lighting:IKEA (OCO Architects), Alkco (Alamo Architects)
Exterior: Kim Lighting
Controls: Hubbell Building Automation Track by Prescolite
Indirect Fluorescent: H.E. Williams
Decorative outdoor: Winscape by Winona
Koehler – Water cooler, Toilets and Urinal, Elkay – Sinks, Moen - Faucets
Add any additional building components or special equipment that made a significant contribution to this project:
Recycled concrete repurposed as: Paving, Fencing
Overhead doors repurposed as: Partition end caps
Recycled steel sash windows repurposed as: Guardrails and Fencing
Recycled wood decking repurposed as: Wall finish, Window and Partition Trim
Mechanical/HVAC Systems: Carrier, Reznor, DuctSox (OCO)